The Woolwich Building Society has been holding exploratory talks with
agencies amid speculation that it is to conduct a review of its pounds 5
million account next year.
The incumbent, Ogilvy and Mather, will be asked to present and is
expected to fight hard to retain the account which it has handled on a
full-service basis for 32 years.
The rethink is part of an ongoing strategy by the Woolwich which reviews
its advertising on a regular basis. However, the issue has been given
greater prominence by the building society’s planned conversion to bank
status in the autumn.
O&M has just unveiled a new TV campaign for the Woolwich - which carries
the famous line, ‘we’re with the Woolwich’ - and is working on
preparations for a pre-conversion campaign to run later this year.
Roger Ham, marketing communications manager at the Woolwich, refused to
say which agencies he had been talking to: ‘It’s hard to look beyond the
middle of next year because of the conversion. As a bank we’ll have
different requirements and we’ll review the situation then. We’ll look
at what other agencies have to offer at that time and I would think O&M
would play a part in that.’
He added that whatever the creative decision, media buying was likely to
remain with the Network.
However, Lynne Peacock, director of operations at the Woolwich, appeared
to quash Ham’s statement when she told Campaign: ‘We do look at the
performance of our agencies on a regular basis, but I have no intention
of reviewing the advertising.’
O&M created the famous ‘we’re with the Woolwich’ slogan in the 70s and
resurrected it last year.
The Woolwich has reviewed its account on a number of occasions in the
past but each time has chosen to keep the bulk of its business with O&M.
The last review was in 1994.