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BRANDING NEWS: Bank of America begins to faze out Merrill Lynch brand

Bank of America has unveiled a new brand identity for its global commercial investment banking operation,€“ with the once iconic Merrill Lynch logo absent.

The move - which seems to indicate BOA'€™s future intentions -€“ will be kicked off with a new international advertising campaign tomorrow.

It follows the acquisition of Merrill Lynch which occurred last autumn as a part of the collapse in confidence on global finance markets.

The new identity and the advertising campaign were created by global brand agency The Brand Union.

Ending months of speculation since the buy-out in September last year, the bank claims that its new identity combines the heritage of Merrill Lynch'€™s 95-year old brand, with the Bank of America'€™s strong brand. However Merrill Lynch'€™s bull icon has been dropped in favour of BOA'€™s US flag inspired logo.

"€œThe new identity symbolises the forging together of two of the most recognised brands on the financial landscape to form a new powerhouse,"€ says Crispin Jameson, WPP chief strategy officer for The Brand Union. "€œThe advertising campaign articulates the degree to which the combined forces are already delivering beyond expectation."

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is one of Bank of America's three major businesses, providing broad financial services to mid-market, corporate and institutional clients.

The Brand Union partnered with Bank of America following its acquisition of Merrill last year, to identify the right brand strategy to help the international powerhouses forge a new path ahead as one new entity.