Barnardo’s asks six to pitch for combined advertising account

Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity, is reviewing its above- and below-the-line advertising account and has invited six agencies to pitch for the combined business.

Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity, is reviewing its

above- and below-the-line advertising account and has invited six

agencies to pitch for the combined business.



Maher Bird, which has handled the charity’s above-the-line advertising

for the past three years, has not been invited to repitch. However,

Brann, the below-the-line incumbent, is on the shortlist.



The advertising rethink follows the appointment last summer of Claire

Bowen as Barnardo’s head of marketing. Bowen visited the Advertising

Agency Register earlier this month and has drawn up a shortlist

comprising Brann, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, DMB&B, J. Walter Thompson,

Ogilvy and Mather and Young and Rubicam.



Barnardo’s will spend pounds 11 million on its marketing effort over the

next three years, with pounds 2.2 million earmarked for above-the-line

work. The shortlisted agencies have one month to come up with strategic

proposals.



Bowen said she hoped to make a decision without going through a full

creative pitch.



She added: ’We are looking for a strategic and operational partner to

work with us in a major brand-repositioning exercise.’



Barnardo’s closed its last children’s home in 1981 and now concentrates

on a diverse range of issues such as fostering, adoption, counselling

abused children and youth homelessness. However, a recent Mori poll

revealed that 97 per cent of the public still believed the charity ran

orphanages.



Bowen explained: ’We are slightly behind the eight ball. There is

enormous goodwill reflected in the brand name of Barnardo’s. However,

this goodwill is steeped in an image which is neither accurate nor

relevant to today’s social issues.’



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