The company currently conducts its digital advertising through an in-house team, although it also works with Starcom Digital. Starcom UK holds the offline media planning and buying account for Capital One.
Media auditor Billetts is understood to be handling the pitch for the account. Nielsen Media Research put media spend at £7m a year, although one agency source estimates the budget could rise to as much as £10m.
The majority of Capital One's £27m ad spend goes on direct mail. TV is the second largest budget after direct at £9m, with internet at £7m and press spend of £1m, according to figures for the 12 months to May.
WWAV Rapp Collins handles direct marketing for the advertiser, while DDB London holds the creative account.
The Capital One Group is a top 10 credit card issuer in both the UK and the US, with more than $105.5bn in managed loans and 49 million worldwide customers.
The group launched its first overseas operation in the UK in 1996, where the bank currently offers Visa and MasterCard credit cards to UK customers. Capital One also offers personal loans, homeowner loans, mortgages, insurance and savings accounts.
The bank has been named in The Sunday Times top 100 "Best Places to Work" for five years consecutively and was named the 23rd Best UK Workplace by the Financial Times, and fifth among organisations with more than 1,000 employees.
Starcom UK recently won the Procter & Gamble digital media planning and buying account in the UK in a pitch against WPP-owned MediaCom, following the advertiser's decision to centralise the work into one agency.
Previously P&G's digital media buying was handled by Publicis-owned Starcom and its sister agency ZenithOptimedia.
Both Capital One and Starcom UK declined to comment.
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