BMP faces fight for Barclaycard

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.

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

account.



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

campaign.’