Bradford & Bingley to review direct-marketing account

Bradford & Bingley is reviewing its direct-marketing account after

almost three years.



The business, which has a budget of several million pounds, is currently

held by Claydon Heeley Jones Mason, but the former building society is

now talking to other agencies about the account.



Claydon Heeley's work included a series of mailings last year to inform

Bradford & Bingley's three million customers of its flotation. Since

then Bradford & Bingley announced its intention to rebrand its 500

high-street outlets as "The Marketplace at Bradford & Bingley" as it

launched its independent mortgage-broking services.



The reasons for the review are unclear but Bradford & Bingley has

approached at least two agencies about the account. Bradford & Bingley

has had significant changes in its marketing department recently with

the departure of advertising manager Tony James and the arrival of

marketing director Mark Howe.



In March, Bradford & Bingley announced it was to increase its focus on

direct selling as it cut back on high street presence.



It is exploring other sales routes including e-commerce. Following this

announcement it cut 300 jobs and 68 branches.



Spending on direct mail for the first few months of 2001 has been

relatively low as Bradford & Bingley focuses on rebranding. However, it

is expected to increase as new services roll-out.



Bradford & Bingley is not thought to be reviewing creative or its media

account, which is held by New PHD.



Claydon Heeley has also run direct marketing for specific Bradford &

Bingley services including its mortgage broking offering. The agency was

appointed alongside M&C Saatchi in 1998 to a pounds 20 million

account.



A Bradford & Bingley spokesman said: "We have no plans to change any of

our agencies at the moment though this may change in the future."



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