Abbey set for digital pitch as AAR forms shortlist

LONDON - Abbey National is reviewing its digital creative advertising account and is holding a pitch, which is being conducted through the AAR.

The AAR's digital arm, headed by Juliet Blackburn, is in the process of drawing up a shortlist of creative agencies to pitch for the business.

In February last year, Abbey National unveiled a major creative redesign of its online look and feel - the first revamp of its website since Abbey first launched online in 2000. The redesign was handled by DareStep, the web design division of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

At present, Abbey does not retain a digital creative agency.

The digital pitch is the latest in a series of reviews of Abbey's advertising and marketing requirements kicked off by the chief executive, Luqman Arnold.

Abbey appointed TBWA\GGT to its £11 million direct marketing account in August.

In June, the bank terminated its 16-year relationship with Carat and, following a brief review, shifted its £27 million media account into MindShare.

The first review to take place kicked off in April when the above-the-line account was awarded to TBWA\London after a whirlwind pitch that ended a nine-year relationship with Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper Partners.

TBWA unveiled its first work for Abbey National in September to support its rebranding as Abbey. The 40-second television commercial and supporting press campaign introduced the new strapline: "Start a beautiful thing with money."

The fellow Omnicom agency Wolff Olins handled the rebranding of the name, logo and colour scheme used by Abbey.

In June, Abbey National hired Angus Porter, a former managing director of BT, as its customer propositions director, in an attempt to rejuvenate its retail division. Porter oversees advertising, branding and new product design.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).