Barclaycard kicks off review of pounds 21m below-the-line business

Barclaycard is reviewing its below-the-line account, the direct

mail portion of which is worth pounds 21 million according to AC

Nielsen.



Agencies are being approached to pitch for the UK task, though the

review is said to be at a very early stage. BHWG Proximity and

Colleagues Direct Marketing are the incumbents.



Barclaycard is Britain's third-biggest mailer and has recently made

radical changes to the way it approaches its direct mail. The client has

just introduced a sophisticated targeting system that will supposedly

cut down its mailing volumes. It will focus on customers that will be

more likely to buy its services.



Barclaycard last reviewed its direct marketing account in October

1998.



At the time the client wanted to refresh its Profiles loyalty

scheme.



Profiles, which was launched in 1986, was one of the UK's first loyalty

schemes, rewarding customer spend with points which can be redeemed

against a catalogue.



At the same time Barclaycard held a review of its above-the-line

creative work. BMP DDB held on to the pounds 15 million Barclaycard

account after fighting off competition from Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Abbott

Mead Vickers BBDO and WCRS.



The creative account was put up for pitch that September when

Barclaycard decided to look for "new thinking and ideas" on the

business, which BMP had held for ten years.



In April this year, Indigo-Square, the online shopping venture between

Barclaycard and Nomura International, appointed Triangle to handle its

below-the-line strategy.