Abbey National holds £20m creative review

Abbey National is holding a statutory review of its £20

million account in a move that looks likely to end its association with

the curly haired comedian Alan Davies.

The bank has approached Ogilvy & Mather, Fallon and St Luke's, which

recently lost its HSBC business to Lowe Lintas. The three agencies will

pitch alongside the incumbent, Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, which has held the

account for the past seven years.

The in-branch communications business, which is also included in the

pitch, has been handled by KLP Euro RSCG for three years. KLP will also

repitch for the business.

Christina Mills, the head of media relations at Abbey National, said:

"We're holding this review primarily because we hold regular reviews of

all our agencies as it's good business practice."

She added: "It seems an appropriate time to hold the review. Both our

agencies have been very successful and we're delighted they are going to

repitch." Mills confirmed that media, which is handled by Carat, is not

part of the review.

Davies has fronted a number of campaigns with the "Life's complicated

enough" strapline since 1997. In one campaign the Jonathan Creek star

floated in an isolation tank in a miner's helmet while discussing how

Abbey National had made his life stress-free.

Inscape, the consumer wealth management company launched earlier this

year by Abbey National, moved its creative account from Circus to Euro

RSCG in May. The agency will continue to handle this business alongside

the bank's online branch, Cahoot.

Abbey National ran into trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority

in May after claiming in a national press ad that no other bank could

match its free overdraft facility. It was ordered to change the ad after

the ASA dismissed its claims.