MBNA reviews £7m online media business

MBNA Europe, the credit card company, is reviewing its £7 million online planning and buying account.

The business is currently held by MediaCom North, but MBNA is holding a pitch through Billetts in an attempt to increase effectiveness and response rates from its online advertising activity.

MediaCom North is re-pitching for the business against Media Contacts, Quantum and Zed.

The agencies are likely to pitch for the business in the next fortnight.

The incumbent agency has handled MBNA's online business for several years.

It also worked on the credit card company's offline business until a pitch in 2002 led to the account being centralised into ZenithOptimedia.

The offline planning and buying account is unaffected by the online review.

Creative work is handled by Archibald Ingall Stretton.

MBNA, which launched in the UK in 1997, claims in its literature that it takes an "integrated marketing approach that combines direct mail, telemarketing, event and other marketing techniques, designed to add accounts in a cost-effective manner".

It attracted controversy earlier this month when it announced that a small percentage of its five-million-strong customer base would face an annual charge of up to £25 to use its cards.

Many of MBNA's customers are acquired through affinity programmes with sports clubs such as Manchester United or internet service providers such as AOL.