HSBC, the banking group, has completed its below-the-line review by appointing Rapier as the new agency on its roster.
Rapier will work closely with the HSBC agencies St Luke's and Advertising Principles on the bank's campaigns. It will work as HSBC's lead strategic agency.
HSBC began the review two months ago (Campaign, 20 October 2000). It is thought to have been prompted by a change in HSBC's marketing strategy, which will see it spend less on television advertising, diverting the lion's share of its pounds 100 million budget below the line.
The appointment was made by Martin Shaw, HSBC's head of advertising and direct marketing. Before Rapier's appointment, St Luke's handled press advertising with Advertising Principles working across other media.
St Luke's will continue to handle the majority of press activity with Rapier working on targeted communications, including direct mail and ensuring continuity with above-the-line work. Advertising Principles, which has worked with HSBC for ten years, will also take on more work.
Until recently, Rapier had a place on Barclays' roster but this relationship ended last month. It had worked on Barclays' online services.
Ben Stephens, the managing director at Rapier, said: 'To be appointed as one of the lead agencies on such a high-calibre client is testament to the experience we have in the financial services arena. We are looking forward to getting stuck in at the end of this month.'
Ian Ogilvie, the head of marketing at HSBC Bank, said: 'Direct marketing is the cornerstone of our customer communications strategy.'