NEWS: Media Centre secures pooled Barclays prize

J. Walter Thompson’s hold on Barclays Bank’s creative account is to come under the spotlight following the client’s decision to centralise its entire pounds 18 million media account into the Media Centre.

J. Walter Thompson’s hold on Barclays Bank’s creative account is to come

under the spotlight following the client’s decision to centralise its

entire pounds 18 million media account into the Media Centre.



The Media Centre, which already handled about three quarters of the

Barclays business, scooped the whole planning and buying account after a

two-way shoot-out against its fellow incumbent, Mediastar. JWT’s media

department, Optimedia, and BMP DDB also pitched.



The Media Centre is thought to have clinched the account because of its

strong track record on the Barclays business over the past few years.

Its strength in the TV buying field is also thought to have been a

factor, with Barclays understood to be planning to launch a TV campaign

for the first time in years. Ad budgets are expected to be increased

accordingly.



Michael Head, marketing services director for the Barclays personal

sector, said Mediastar had come a very close second. ‘The final decision

was a difficult choice between our two incumbent agencies. We are sorry

to part company with Mediastar, which has done an excellent job,’ he

commented.



At the same time, Barclays has awarded Optimedia a consolation prize in

the form of the Mercantile Credit media planning and buying account,

currently handled by the Media Shop.



A Barclays spokeswoman said reports of a creative review were

‘categorically untrue’. JWT is thought to have received assurances that

the account is to stay put.