J. Walter Thompson’s hold on the pounds 30 million Barclays Bank
account is under threat, as the bank talks to other agencies about its
The agencies involved are pitching for a brief to create a corporate
branding campaign, but sources say the winner may be in line to pick up
the entire retail financial services account in the UK. A spokeswoman
for Barclays was unable to deny this.
She said: ’I am not able to go into that much detail.’
While the branding campaign is thought to be international, it is not
clear if JWT’s management of Barclays’ global business is under
The company is finalising the shortlist and is believed to be going
through the AAR. The Barclays spokeswoman said the shortlist will be
complete by the end of the month.
News of the bank’s search for an agency to develop an international
corporate campaign broke last year (Campaign, 23 October 1998).
It added weight to speculation - which has circulated the industry for
months - that the main retail account was in trouble at JWT.
It is not the first time that the company has looked beyond JWT for
advertising support. It appointed Banks Hoggins O’Shea to the launch of
b2, the mass-market share ownership scheme it unveiled last May. The
agency put together a campaign featuring the actor, Richard E.
The bank also put its pounds 2 million Barclays Capital relaunch account
up for pitch at the end of 1997. The account was awarded to JWT after a
pitch against Young & Rubicam and Dewe Rogerson.
Barclays launched a massive direct marketing campaign using the
through-the-line shop, Rapier, last September. The mailshot informed the
public of a new service enabling customers to make immediate withdrawals
on uncleared cheques and also addressed a rise in complaints about poor
The bank’s chief executive, Martin Taylor, quit in a shock move last
December. Taylor had a vision for the bank that differed from the rest
of the board: he wanted to split retail and corporate banking into