Bartle Bogle Hegarty and WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather are understood to have been briefed to respond with ideas on global positioning and communications.
BBH holds Barclays’ £34 million UK ad account for retail banking as well as the Barclaycard business, while Ogilvy handles global advertising for Barclays’ investment banking arm, Barclays Capital, and its private wealth unit, Barclays Wealth.
It is thought the process is being overseen by Michelle McEttrick, the chief marketing officer at Barclays Global Retail Banking, and David Wheldon, the former Coca-Cola and Vodafone marketer who is the head of brand, reputation and citizenship. He arrived at the bank just last month.
McEttrick joined Barclays from BBH in March last year. Her appointment followed the creation in 2009 of the GRB division.
The banking giant, which this week was ordered by the UK Treasury to pay £500 million in tax that it had tried to avoid, unveiled profits of almost £6 billion last month.