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
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
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
Spend details Barclays has used all advertising media over the past
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
The corporate push was spread over 57 satellite and 52 terrestrial
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
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.