Agency Republic shares Egg with Claydon Heeley

The online bank picks sister agencies to handle its £30m below-the-line work.

The online bank Egg has appointed Claydon Heeley Jones Mason and its sister digital outfit, Agency Republic, to handle its £30 million below-the-line account.

The account will be shared equally between the two Omnicom-owned agencies. The agencies' triumph follows a four-way battle that involved Tequila\London in the final shootout.

EHS Brann, the incumbent on Egg's digital account, which it had handled since 2003, was knocked out at an earlier stage, along with Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel. The pitch was overseen by the AAR.

Claydon Heeley and Agency Republic will be responsible for developing the bank's online and offline direct response activity.

The appointment follows the bank's decision in the summer to increase its marketing spend by £7 million to £42 million, in order to boost awareness amid increasing competition from rivals such as the Mint card.

The direct business was previously held by Lowe Plus, the Draft London-aligned conflict shop. Lowe Plus was set up in 1998 to take on the financial services launch in addition to HSBC. It lost the HSBC account in a global through-the-line review this year but will continue to trade as usual, with Stella Artois as its flagship client.

The Egg account will be headed by Claydon Heeley's chief executive, Nigel Jones, who led the pitch alongside Agency Republic's Martin Brooks.

Brooks, a former managing director of Claydon Heeley, launched Agency Republic three years ago.

Richard Taylor, Egg's head of brand communications, said: "It is an important time for Egg with the financial market becoming increasingly competitive. We are extremely pleased to have Claydon Heeley and Agency Republic to help us consolidate our position."

Brooks added: "We are delighted to be working with such a pioneering company as Egg. The Egg Card is iconic and we are privileged to be working for the brand."

The below-the-line review did not affect Egg's creative and media accounts, which are held by Mother and MediaCom respectively.

Mother and MediaCom won the business in 2001. Before that, the advertising business was held by HHCL/Red Cell, which launched the product in 1998.The media account was held by PHD.

Egg is majority-owned by The Prudential.