The Nationwide Building Society has parted company with Bartle
Bogle Hegarty less than a year after it appointed the agency to its
pounds 12 million account.
A joint statement released on Wednesday said that the two had agreed to
terminate their relationship because of ’creative differences’.
Tom Harvey, a spokesperson at Nationwide, added that the company was
reviewing its options, but said it was unlikely to place further
creative assignments with BBH.
At this stage no decision had been taken about compiling a shortlist of
Other sources have suggested that senior marketers at the Nationwide
were unhappy about the recent departure from BBH of Martin Smith, its
former deputy chairman, and Bruce Crouch, its former executive creative
director. The two were instrumental in pitching for and running the
BBH beat D’Arcy and Grey, then DMB&B, to win the business in June last
year. At that time, Nationwide said its key concern was to continue to
promote the benefits to its customers of it retaining its mutual
Advertising was to focus on the variety of services that Nationwide can
offer from telephone banking to investments, pensions and current
The agency’s first and last campaign broke in March. TV ads featured
people being massaged to communicate how relaxed customers that bank
with Nationwide feel.
The Nationwide has had a chequered history with ad agencies. Before BBH,
Leagas Delaney handled the account on a project basis. Previously the
business had been at Leagas Delaney and GGT.
’The Nationwide has a reputation for burning agencies out and it’s very
difficult to get good work past them,’ a source at a previous incumbent
Last year Mike Lazenby, Nationwide’s marketing director, announced that
it would pull the plug on conventional TV advertising because he
believed that sports sponsorship, with a potential audience of 24
million people in the UK, was more effective.
Lazenby signed up Nationwide as the main sponsor of the England football
team and then contributed to the downfall of the former team manager
But Lazenby left the Nationwide last September to be replaced by Steve
Clode, who became the divisional director of marketing. Lazenby became
the new chief executive of Kent Reliance building society in April.