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Capital One Selects New Advertising Agency

April 11, 2003 at 3:33 PM EDT
McCann-Erickson to Take Successful Branding Campaign to Next Level

MCLEAN, Va, Apr 11, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) announced today it has retained the services of McCann-Erickson Worldwide as its new advertising agency of record to handle all advertising responsibilities, effectively immediately. The agency will seek to leverage and evolve the company's existing best-in-class campaign to improve upon its success, both in the U.S. and abroad. Capital One will continue its relationships with MediaVest and Halogen for media placement and media planning, respectively. The company's direct marketing efforts will continue to be managed internally.

"Capital One has become a household name almost overnight thanks to our 'What's in Your Wallet' battle cry," said Bill McDonald, Executive Vice President of Brand Marketing at Capital One. "McCann-Erickson's ability to combine strategic thinking with outstanding creative will turbo-charge our mission to build a world class brand."

Capital One's branding campaign originated in 2000 with the introduction of its "What's in Your Wallet?" advertisements, developed to stimulate consumer awareness about the company's wide array of financial products and services. The award-winning campaign's ads are humorous, using tongue-in- cheek humor to draw attention to the great value offered by the company's products -- without the hassles. The campaign's assorted characters -- visigoths, pirates, gladiators and yetis -- were created by D'Arcy Advertising. In just three years, overall awareness of the Capital One brand is at 96 percent, and more than 47 million customers carry Capital One in their wallet. Awards include Card Marketer of the Year, an Effie Award for advertising effectiveness and, most recently, an Ogilvy Award for excellence in marketing communications.

"We relish the challenge of expanding an already successful brand into something even better," said Eric Einhorn, Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer at McCann-Erickson. "The bar is set high, but we think our strategic and creative expertise can magnify the current Capital One brand."

The Capital One search for a new agency began last fall when the D'Arcy parent company, Bcom3, was acquired by Publicis Groupe. The restructuring offered an appropriate time to reassess the capabilities and synergy between Capital One, Publicis and other select agencies. The following agencies were invited to pitch the account: Element 79, Abbott Mead Vickers/BBDO (London), Kaplan Thaler (NY) & Publicis UK, McCann-Erickson (NY & London), and Faulds (London).

"The caliber of agencies involved in this process offered us many attractive options," added McDonald. "While it was a tough decision, we're confident that we've found the right partner in McCann-Erickson for Capital One."

About Capital One

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation ( is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 47.4 million accounts and $59.7 billion in managed loans outstanding as of December 31, 2002. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index.

About McCann-Erickson

McCann-Erickson Worldwide, headquartered in New York with operations in over 130 countries, is the world's largest international advertising agency.

SOURCE Capital One Financial Corporation

Pam Girardo of Capital One, +1-703-720-2351; or Susan Irwin of McCann-Erickson, +1-646-865-3004