The Nationwide Building Society is talking to agencies about its
above-the-line account in a move which could see the company united for
a third time with Leagas Delaney.
The company is talking to Leagas Delaney, among other agencies, in a
pitch being handled by the AAR.
The move to reintroduce TV advertising follows a poor performance from
Nationwide, which has suffered dramatic falls in mortgage lending over
recent months. New mortgage sales fell by 21 per cent in the year to
Nationwide parted company with Bartle Bogle Hegarty in July 2000 owing
to creative differences. That agency has since taken on Leagas Delaney's
recently departed Barclays account, leaving a financial services gap on
Leagas Delaney's account list.
Leagas Delaney resigned the account in 1999, after discovering that
Nationwide had opened talks with rival agencies. The agency first won
the business from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in 1991 and went on to
create the "Don from Doncaster" spots. The two split in 1994 when the
account moved to GGT. January 1997 saw Nationwide move the business out
of GGT, claiming it no longer needed a full-service agency. Leagas
Delaney began work on the brand again in 1997, but the relationship
lasted for just over a year.
In February 1999, the then marketing director of Nationwide, Mike
Lazenby, pulled the company's advertising budget and diverted it into
football sponsorship. He left the company at the end of that year and
was replaced with Steve Clode.
Clode decided against outsourcing the company's advertising. Subsequent
work has been developed either in-house or by the below-the-line
agencies WAVV Rapp Collins and Ping.
Leagas Delaney produced "Don from Doncaster" in 1992. The work was
revived in 1998 during the agency's second stint on the account. BBH's
spots showed people being massaged to demonstrate the peace of mind
offered by Nationwide, but were criticised for being too bland.
Tom Harvey, the head of external affairs at Nationwide, said: "We are in
regular touch with a number of agencies. We are not looking for an
agency of record, but we do have a television project for which we are
looking to hire an agency."
Nationwide set out to change the structure of the mortgage business by
scrapping up-front discounts to supply a clearer pricing policy to
However, Nationwide has lost potential customers to other lenders,
including the Halifax and Abbey National, which have followed suit by
offering lower rates on request as well as low up-front rates to attract