Publicis and Joshua share Post Office brief

Publicis and Joshua have been appointed to share the Post Office's

pounds 15 million brief to sustain and build its brand and give it more

upmarket appeal in an increasingly competitive environment.



The two shops will work in tandem to help fulfil the organisation's

declared aim of becoming a top UK brand within five years.



Publicis will concentrate on all above-the-line activity for Post Office

products including travel services, network banking, bill payments and

government services.



Joshua, which previously worked on promotion of the Post Office's bill

payment services, will handle all below-the-line activity for the Post

Office's portfolio of products and services.



Both agencies will work with Marketplace, the brand development agency

hired last year to concentrate on the Post Office's retail and banking

brand.



Publicis pitched for the work with Saatchi & Saatchi, CDP and Leo

Burnett.



Bartle Bogle Hegarty withdrew at an earlier stage.



The appointments are in line with the Post Office's intention to become

a modern and customer-focused brand in the run-up to the launch of the

Universal Bank.



After benefits start being paid directly into bank accounts from 2003,

the number of people visiting the Post Office's 18,000 branches could

fall by up to 40 per cent.



'The Post Office has to convince more upmarket consumers that there's

more to it than meets the eye,' an industry source said.



Among the services being developed is one allowing customers to choose a

Post Office branch from which to collect deliveries from retailers.



The advertising is also intended to alert potential partners that the

Post Office is looking for commercial tie-ups.



Richard Hytner, the Publicis chairman, said that the new ads would be

'populist with a definite edge'.



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