Barclays’ review puts JWT work in jeopardy

J. Walter Thompson’s hold on the pounds 30 million Barclays Bank account is under threat, as the bank talks to other agencies about its business.

J. Walter Thompson’s hold on the pounds 30 million Barclays Bank

account is under threat, as the bank talks to other agencies about its

business.



The agencies involved are pitching for a brief to create a corporate

branding campaign, but sources say the winner may be in line to pick up

the entire retail financial services account in the UK. A spokeswoman

for Barclays was unable to deny this.



She said: ’I am not able to go into that much detail.’



While the branding campaign is thought to be international, it is not

clear if JWT’s management of Barclays’ global business is under

threat.



The company is finalising the shortlist and is believed to be going

through the AAR. The Barclays spokeswoman said the shortlist will be

complete by the end of the month.



News of the bank’s search for an agency to develop an international

corporate campaign broke last year (Campaign, 23 October 1998).



It added weight to speculation - which has circulated the industry for

months - that the main retail account was in trouble at JWT.



It is not the first time that the company has looked beyond JWT for

advertising support. It appointed Banks Hoggins O’Shea to the launch of

b2, the mass-market share ownership scheme it unveiled last May. The

agency put together a campaign featuring the actor, Richard E.

Grant.



The bank also put its pounds 2 million Barclays Capital relaunch account

up for pitch at the end of 1997. The account was awarded to JWT after a

pitch against Young & Rubicam and Dewe Rogerson.



Barclays launched a massive direct marketing campaign using the

through-the-line shop, Rapier, last September. The mailshot informed the

public of a new service enabling customers to make immediate withdrawals

on uncleared cheques and also addressed a rise in complaints about poor

service.



The bank’s chief executive, Martin Taylor, quit in a shock move last

December. Taylor had a vision for the bank that differed from the rest

of the board: he wanted to split retail and corporate banking into

separate businesses.



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