Abbey promises to keep current TBWA ads despite losses

The beleaguered bank Abbey has pledged to stand by its current advertising campaign, created by TBWA\London, despite posting losses of £686 million in 2003.

Jane Reynolds, the media relations manager at Abbey, said: "We are committed to the new ad strategy. There is more to come and we won't be changing it. Feedback from customers has been good."

TBWA has just unveiled its second tranche of advertising, moving away from the relaunch campaign that positioned Abbey as "turning banking on its head". The new ads focus on individual customers' needs.

The bank's marketing was radically overhauled last year after its chief executive, Luqman Arnold, called fast-turnaround pitches for its marketing services accounts. Wolff Olins produced the identity, MindShare won the media account, while TBWA picked up the creative.

Matt Shepherd, TBWA's chief operating officer, said: "The launch advertising announced Abbey's intention to change high-street banking. The new bank is more customer focused."

Abbey, which is in the first year of a three-year turnaround plan, reported a £1 billion trading profit on its core business for 2003, but this was £200 million lower than the year before. The trading profit evaporated after a string of one-off charges.

The 2003 loss of £686 million has slimmed from the record posting of £947 million in losses the previous year.

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