Barclaycard to ditch Atkinson

Barclaycard is to end one of the most enduring relationships in advertising by retiring Rowan Atkinson as its incompetent spy Latham, star of the company’s ads for the past six years.

Barclaycard is to end one of the most enduring relationships in

advertising by retiring Rowan Atkinson as its incompetent spy Latham,

star of the company’s ads for the past six years.



The decision follows a dramatic rise in Atkinson’s profile as a comedian

after the success of his movie, Mr Bean - The Ultimate Disaster Movie.

Atkinson also used the Mr Bean character in TV ads for Mars

Confectionery’s M&M’s brand earlier this year.



The Latham character first appeared in ads for Barclaycard, along with

his more efficient colleague Bough, in 1991 and will appear in the 17th

and final ad for the brand before Christmas. It is understood Latham

will not be killed off in the ad.



Barclaycard, which spends pounds 15m a year on advertising through BMP

DDB, denied it was ending its relationship with Atkinson because of his

association as Mr Bean with M&M’s, but sources close to the company

suggest it was unhappy that Atkinson was no longer exclusive to

Barclaycard. Atkinson was retained on a rolling one-year contract with

Barclaycard and signed for a further year in May.



Despite being Europe’s largest credit card brand with nine million

customers, the change coincides with Barclaycard’s plans to relaunch

early next year in the face of stiff competition in the UK. The company

is understood to be revising the Barclaycard offer with a range of new

incentives designed to retain customers.



Barclaycard also restructured its marketing operations earlier this

year, following the departure of commercial director Shaun Powell to

Thomson Holidays. Its current head of marketing is Paul Parmenter.



A spokesman for Barclaycard said a change in advertising strategy did

not affect BMP DDB’s role. ’Barclaycard is currently reviewing its ad

campaign with Rowan Atkinson and will be revealing its plans

shortly.



We have no problem with his association with other advertisers,’ he

said.



Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.

SUBSCRIBE

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Share

1 Meet the new breed of ad agency chiefs

A new wave of first-time CEOs are opting to do things differently in an evolving landscape. They discuss the business model of the future with Jeremy Lee.

Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising
Shares0
Share

1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

Just published

More