Abbey National moves media into MindShare

Abbey National has terminated its 16-year relationship with Carat and, following a brief review, shifted its £27 million media account into MindShare.

The review was overseen by the Abbey National chief executive, Luqman Arnold, without the assistance of the bank's marketing department and was turned around in just two weeks.

Carat, MindShare, Manning Gottlieb OMD and Initiative Media were given three days' warning of the review before being invited in to present their credentials to Arnold and the director of product strategy, Gary Hockey-Morley, at a short meeting.

The media review mirrored the creative review held in April - Arnold ended Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper's nine-year tenure on the account and handed the brief to TBWA/London in a review completed in less than a week and also without the input of his marketing department.

MindShare will work alongside TBWA, Wolff Olins - which was appointed to review brand strategy - and Naked Communications, which will contribute to the development of customer segmentation and ensure that the advertising is innovative.

"Financial services advertising is ready for a fresh approach built on real customer insight and where media creativity is deployed competitively," Kelly Clark, the chief executive of MindShare, said.

The Abbey National account comprises £5 million of billings for Abbey National's internet bank, Cahoot, as well as the core £22 million media account.

Abbey National - the UK's sixth-largest bank - announced a dramatic turn of fortunes in its annual report published in March. Despite registering a profit of £1.47 billion in 2001, the bank suffered a loss of nearly £1 billion in 2002, one of the biggest in UK banking history.