HHCL & Partners has landed the launch advertising task for
Prudential’s direct banking business following a secret pitch against
the insurer’s main agency, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.
The new account is expected to be worth between pounds 8 and pounds 10
million (Campaign, 27 March).
HHCL is understood to have been approached because of its experience in
launching First Direct, Midland’s pioneering telephone banking arm, in
October 1989. A number of senior Prudential staff originally worked at
First Direct, including its head of banking, Mike Harris.
New PHD, which handles Prudential’s media business, landed the direct
banking media planning and buying at the same time.
Prudential indicated its ambition to expand further into the direct
banking market in February with the building of a major call centre in
The newly boosted service will offer banking, life and pension
According to reports, Prudential is testing potential names for the
service including Oxygen, 360¡ and Egg. However, it is still to be
decided whether the service will carry the Prudential brand name.
Rupert Howell, HHCL’s managing partner, confirmed the win. ’Yes, we are
working with Prudential on direct banking,’ he said. However, he refused
to comment further on the insurer’s plans for the bank.
HHCL is understood to have cleared the win with its existing client,
Pearl, the life and pensions company.
Prudential banking was started so that customers who had received
lump-sum insurance payouts from the firm could reinvest their money and
keep it in the company. Since then it has slowly expanded operations.
The new subsidiary is expected to launch in the autumn.
No-one at Prudential was available to comment as Campaign went to press.