Bristol & West, the former building society bought by the Bank of
Ireland in 1997, is searching for a new agency for its advertising
account, believed to be worth about pounds 7 million.
A list of shops is being drawn up by the AAR, and the incumbent, the
Bristol agency JPH, will repitch.
However, if JPH is unsuccessful in holding on to the account, it is
likely that a review of B&W’s media planning and buying arrangements
will then ensue, as the agency handles the business on a full-service
The review is in time for a major expansion into online areas for the
company. Under the working title savings.com, a series of online
mortgage, savings and investment accounts is being launched over the
next few months, and the spend is being ramped up to promote these in a
crowded market. The below-the-line financial specialist Ping
Communications was appointed earlier this year on the business.
A spokesman for B&W confirmed the review, and said: ’Bristol & West is
looking at many new areas of business development, and considering a
number of online projects. This expansion provides an opportunity to
review our creative requirements. We are in the initial stages of
discussions with a number of agencies, provided for us by the AAR.’
Bristol & West declined to comment on whether the winning agency will
handle all online projects as they come to launch, or whether it will
follow the example of many other financial services companies and have
separate agencies for its 132 high-street branches as well as its online
The company has spent little during the past 12 months, the last
significant burst of national TV advertising being in 1998 with a
campaign that launched in the south-west.
Designed to emphasise the fact that the company focuses on just three
areas - mortgages, savings and investments - the ads featured a number
of celebrities including Thora Hird, Angus Deayton and Ulrika Jonsson
shown interpreting a simple script in their own way.