BRAND SPEND ANALYSIS: Barclays Bank is spending heavily to emphasise its size and net credentials

Barclays Bank has changed dramatically over the past year. Twelve months ago, it was vulnerable to takeover as newly merged competitors such as Lloyds TSB and acquisition-hungry banks like Royal Bank of Scotland seemed set to dominate the market. Today, headed by new chief executive Matt Barratt, it is very much regarded as a powerhouse in British banking.

Barclays Bank has changed dramatically over the past year. Twelve

months ago, it was vulnerable to takeover as newly merged competitors

such as Lloyds TSB and acquisition-hungry banks like Royal Bank of

Scotland seemed set to dominate the market. Today, headed by new chief

executive Matt Barratt, it is very much regarded as a powerhouse in

British banking.



Barclays has reversed its earlier slide by adopting a controversial

cost-cutting strategy and focusing on the internet.



Barclays has been no stranger to controversy in recent months. It has

cut back its branch network and has also unsettled the Link network by

calling for ATM charges for non-customers who use its network of cash

machines. Throughout all this the bank continued to run substantial ad

campaigns - a clear indication of its determination to lead other banks

in driving through changes it sees as crucial to its success.



Agencies Barclays uses Leagas Delaney and J. Walter Thompson for its

creative work, Poster Publicity for buying and MediaVest for planning

and buying.



Total spend and the media mix Barclays spent pounds 19.6 million on

advertising in the year to April 2000. This figure does not include

campaigns for brands such as Barclaycard or b2.



Almost half of all spend went on TV, followed by press (20 per cent),

outdoor (15 per cent), direct mail (15 per cent) and minimal use of

cinema and radio. Much of the year’s spend occurred in March and April

2000, when Barclays screened a pounds 7 million, high-profile corporate

television campaign. The commercials, starring Anthony Hopkins and Nick

Moran and directed by Tony Scott, extolled the virtues of the bank’s big

global future.



Spend details Barclays has used all advertising media over the past

year.



In addition to running its first corporate campaign, the bank has

increased its spend on advertising aimed at small businesses, including

signing a deal with Freeserve. Notable campaigns to run over the past

year include a pounds 1.5 million press push in November announcing the

abolition of charges for customers using other banks’ ATMs. In March, a

pounds 1.5 million drive promoted Barclay’s business and internet

services.



The corporate push was spread over 57 satellite and 52 terrestrial

channels.



It generated a great deal of controversy as its timing coincided with

criticism from the press and government of the bank’s closure of local

branches.



Conclusion Barclays has turned itself around from being a takeover

target to reportedly planning to acquire Abbey National. It has taken

the bull by the horns when deciding how its traditional banking

operation can prosper in the world of e-commerce.



Barclays’ strong promotion of web banking for individuals and businesses

will continue throughout 2000. This strategy will push total adspend for

2000 well above that of last year.





Research by AC Nielsen MMS tel: 01344-627553 www.mediamonitoring.com.