Abbey set for digital pitch as AAR forms shortlist

LONDON - Abbey National is reviewing its digital creative advertising account and is holding a pitch, which is being conducted through the AAR.

The AAR's digital arm, headed by Juliet Blackburn, is in the process of drawing up a shortlist of creative agencies to pitch for the business.

In February last year, Abbey National unveiled a major creative redesign of its online look and feel - the first revamp of its website since Abbey first launched online in 2000. The redesign was handled by DareStep, the web design division of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

At present, Abbey does not retain a digital creative agency.

The digital pitch is the latest in a series of reviews of Abbey's advertising and marketing requirements kicked off by the chief executive, Luqman Arnold.

Abbey appointed TBWA\GGT to its £11 million direct marketing account in August.

In June, the bank terminated its 16-year relationship with Carat and, following a brief review, shifted its £27 million media account into MindShare.

The first review to take place kicked off in April when the above-the-line account was awarded to TBWA\London after a whirlwind pitch that ended a nine-year relationship with Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper Partners.

TBWA unveiled its first work for Abbey National in September to support its rebranding as Abbey. The 40-second television commercial and supporting press campaign introduced the new strapline: "Start a beautiful thing with money."

The fellow Omnicom agency Wolff Olins handled the rebranding of the name, logo and colour scheme used by Abbey.

In June, Abbey National hired Angus Porter, a former managing director of BT, as its customer propositions director, in an attempt to rejuvenate its retail division. Porter oversees advertising, branding and new product design.

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