Nationwide seeks shop after BBH rift

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.

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

pitching agencies.



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

account there.



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

status.



Advertising was to focus on the variety of services that Nationwide can

offer from telephone banking to investments, pensions and current

accounts.



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

agency said.



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

Glenn Hoddle.



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.