Eyeballing each other across the bloodstained sand of Bank of America’s corporate colosseum last week were two teams of the meanest marketing gladiators ever to fly from the four points of the compass into Charlotte, North Carolina.

Contesting one of the nation’s biggest accounts were the assembled specialist units of Interpublic Group and Omnicom Group, respectively number two and number three in AdAge’s world rankings.

At stake is the glittering prize of Bank of America’s consumer and affluent-market integrated business, estimated value $170 million (€173.40m; £109.57m). The incumbent is Interpublic-owned Bozell.

Refereeing the contest is BoA’s Grant O'Neal, ad director for multicultural and general market, who told AdWeek: “We are challenging them to open up the doors to the total capabilities of their parent organizations.”

Among the heavyweights battling it out for Interpublic were Bozell, DraftWorldwide, Siboney USA, Jack Morton Worldwide, Octagon, Weber Shandwick, GlobalHue and R/GA. Leading the pitch were Interpublic’s evp and chief marketing officer Bruce Nelson, Bozell president Tom Bernardin and Draft ceo Howard Draft.

Key presenter for the Omnicom team was Arnell Group president Peter Arnell, backed by the legions of BBDO, Arnell, Organic and TargetBase.

The gladiators return to the arena on Monday October 21 when they make their final presentations based on BoA feedback, said O’Neal. The victors are expected to be garlanded before the end of that week.

Data sourced from: AdWeek.com; additional content by WARC staff