Abbey to call pitch for credit card task

Abbey is looking for a direct marketing agency to handle the relaunch of its credit cards in the UK.

The company has appointed the AAR to conduct the pitch and a shortlist is being drawn up. The review will not affect its roster agencies and Tequila\London, the incumbent on the business, is expected to pitch.

The decision to relaunch the cards has been forced by the Abbey owner, Grupo Santander, which is bringing the back office operations of the cards in-house. The cards were previously outsourced to MBNA, which was bought last year by Bank of America.

WCRS, which handles the Abbey advertising account, is also unaffected by the review.

Abbey appointed WCRS in March 2005. It was one of a number of agency changes following Abbey's acquisition by Grupo Santander in 2004. Carat won the combined £34 million online and offline media accounts.