Barclays in branded content scheme

Barclays Bank is looking for an advertising agency to mastermind its first foray into branded content.

The bank has been in talks with ad agencies about running what would be the first example of an ad-funded programme from a high-street bank.

It is thought to have approached Leo Burnett's Stream division, as well as Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy's Amplified. Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Barclays' above-the-line incumbent, also has a content division.

The idea is the brainchild of Barclays' marketing director, Jim Hytner, who has extensive broadcast experience. Before joining Barclays at the end of last year, he was the marketing director at ITV and has held similar roles at Channel 5 and BSkyB.

In his five months at the bank, Hytner has made some dramatic changes to Barclays' ad strategy. Upon joining, he announced he was dropping the high-profile "fluent in finance" strategy devised by BBH in 2002.

A spokesman for Barclays said the company was looking at all aspects of its branding. But he denied the bank was in talks with other agencies.

"BBH is our ad agency and will continue to be so," he said.

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