NEWS: Lloyds TSB starts media contest

The Lloyds TSB Group has invited at least three agencies to pitch for its media business, as it prepares to centralise its pounds 20.5 million accounts into a single agency.

The Lloyds TSB Group has invited at least three agencies to pitch for

its media business, as it prepares to centralise its pounds 20.5 million

accounts into a single agency.



The media planning and buying for Lloyds is handled at present by Lowe

Howard-Spink, which runs the bank’s advertising on a full-service basis,

while the media for TSB is handled by CIA Medianetwork.



The incumbents will pitch against at least one other agency. The Media

Centre, whose sister agency DMB&B handles the TSB’s creative business,

has been mentioned as a possible contender, but the agency denies this.



The decision to pool the media of the merged banks has been expected

since Lloyds Bank acquired the TSB in October last year.



In January the two merged their retail operations under a single

umbrella operation, which is known as Retail Financial Services.



It is understood that the pitch will be overseen by Tim Pile, who was

appointed marketing services director of the merged operation last

month. Pile was marketing director at the TSB before the merger.



Pile is responsible for the bank’s combined advertising and media spend.

Centralising the media will allow him to make a number of easy cost

savings. In February, Lloyds TSB announced 500 jobs were to go at its

combined headquarters in Bristol.



However, Lloyds’ chief manager - marketing communications, Mike Bulpitt,

refused to confirm or deny details of the pitch, the brief for which is

understood to have been handed over to agencies this week. He said: ‘I

think it is inevitable with the merger of Lloyds and TSB banks last year

that people will start this sort of speculation and it is our policy not

to comment.’



Both Mike Smallwood, media director at Lowes, and David Fletcher, a

director at CIA Medianetwork, declined to comment on the pitch.



However, Lowes is seen as a strong contender, having picked up the

Lloyds account in 1982, just a year after the agency was first

established.