Bradford & Bingley awards £7m media account to Starcom

Starcom Motive has beaten PHD in a head-to-head battle for the £7 million Bradford & Bingley Group centralised media planning and buying account.

Starcom was previously the incumbent on the Bradford & Bingley-owned John Charcol independent financial adviser division.

However, it has now added the Bradford & Bingley Marketplace retail division and the Bradford & Bingley regional estate agency network to its portfolio.

The news will be a blow to PHD, which was the incumbent on the bulk of the account.

Bradford & Bingley took the decision to centralise its media account in March and appointed the procurement consultant 4C Associates to conduct the review.

4C employed the former OMD chief operating officer, Johan Denekamp, to assist in the review process. Six agencies were invited to pitch but only the two incumbents, Starcom Motive and PHD, made it to the final stage.

The creative account, held by M&C Saatchi, is unaffected by the review.

Bradford & Bingley demutualised in December 2000. It has developed a strategy built around two businesses - retail and lending - and now claims to be the largest provider of financial advice and the fourth-largest estate agent in the UK.

It acquired Lloyds TSB's Black Horse Estate Agency in April 1998 and rebranded it under the Bradford & Bingley banner. In 2000, the John Charcol network of independent financial advisers also joined the group.

Last week, Bradford & Bingley bought the independent financial business Holden Meehan, which will also be rebranded under the John Charcol name.