Abbey National is holding a statutory review of its £20
million account in a move that looks likely to end its association with
the curly haired comedian Alan Davies.
The bank has approached Ogilvy & Mather, Fallon and St Luke's, which
recently lost its HSBC business to Lowe Lintas. The three agencies will
pitch alongside the incumbent, Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, which has held the
account for the past seven years.
The in-branch communications business, which is also included in the
pitch, has been handled by KLP Euro RSCG for three years. KLP will also
repitch for the business.
Christina Mills, the head of media relations at Abbey National, said:
"We're holding this review primarily because we hold regular reviews of
all our agencies as it's good business practice."
She added: "It seems an appropriate time to hold the review. Both our
agencies have been very successful and we're delighted they are going to
repitch." Mills confirmed that media, which is handled by Carat, is not
part of the review.
Davies has fronted a number of campaigns with the "Life's complicated
enough" strapline since 1997. In one campaign the Jonathan Creek star
floated in an isolation tank in a miner's helmet while discussing how
Abbey National had made his life stress-free.
Inscape, the consumer wealth management company launched earlier this
year by Abbey National, moved its creative account from Circus to Euro
RSCG in May. The agency will continue to handle this business alongside
the bank's online branch, Cahoot.
Abbey National ran into trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority
in May after claiming in a national press ad that no other bank could
match its free overdraft facility. It was ordered to change the ad after
the ASA dismissed its claims.