Barclaycard has called a review of its pounds 15 million
advertising account just ten months after the launch of BMP DDB’s ’don’t
put it off’ campaign, which was intended to be a long-term replacement
for the famous Rowan Atkinson commercials.
BMP, which has held the account for nine years and sustained the Rowan
Atkinson campaign for six of those, will repitch for the Barclaycard
business against WCRS, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Bartle Bogle
Hegarty. A result is expected by the end of October. Media, which is
with BMP Optimum, is not affected by the review.
Abbott Mead and BBH are also pitching for the pounds 25 million Visa
John Eaton, the managing director of Barclaycard, took on the additional
role of Visa UK chairman and is involved in both reviews.
Paul Parmenter, the marketing director of Barclaycard, said: ’Looking to
our marketing strategy for 1999, it is clear that this is an ideal time
for Barclaycard to look for some new thinking.’
Barclaycard is still the UK’s biggest credit card, but its market share
is being eroded by competition from rivals offering lower rates of
interest and no annual charge. Barclaycard has steadfastly held on to
its premium positioning and to its Profiles reward programme, while
other cards focus on low rates and money-off schemes.
New cards from American banks such as MBNA and Beneficial, together with
the launch of brands such as Amex Blue, have all had an impact on the
credit card market. Press coverage has also focused on rate comparisons,
working against Barclaycard which charges 22.9 per cent APR compared
with rates from competitors as low as 9.9 per cent.
Parmenter added: ’BMP has produced exceptional advertising for
Barclaycard over the last nine years, the highlight of this period being
the highly acclaimed Rowan Atkinson campaign, followed by the current