campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 29 September 2000 12:00AM
Capital One, the US-based credit card giant, is holding preliminary talks with creative and media agencies about its multimillion-pound UK launch with a view to drawing up a shortlist over the next few days.
The company wants to establish a brand profile in the UK where it joins an already highly competitive market with players including Abbey National, RBS Advanta and Nationwide. It is currently offering UK customers 0 per cent credit deals until 2001.
Capital One has traditionally used direct mail as the main tool in its advertising mix, but is turning to television to promote the brand in the UK.
Although the company has worked with WWAV Rapp Collins, it is looking to reach a greater audience for its next stage of development and has recently embarked on a search for a UK brand director whose remit would include expanding its operation into other areas of financial services and telecoms.
The credit card giant is already a well established technology leader in America, where it has more than one million customers. The agency hunt signals its intention to become a global brand.
The company is one of the top-ten credit card issuers in America involved in joint ventures with both Visa and MasterCard in that market. The company also sells wireless phone services, mortgage services and consumer lending products.
Capital One is expected to expand into the rest of Europe over the next few years. Last week it signalled its commitment to European expansion with the appointment of a new European chief information officer. Catherine Doran, who joined from her position as the head of retail informations systems at National Westminster Bank, will be based at the company's Nottingham headquarters.
Capital One started as an independent company in 1995 and now has a global customer base of 25 million with revenue totalling dollars 3.9 billion.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk