RBS announced it was to review its account out of Faulds last May after 11 years. In June 2002, a shortlist of eight agencies, including M&C Saatchi, TBWA\London, HHCL and Partners and St Luke's was drawn up. By August, St Luke's was the only remaining agency on the shortlist. But it was not appointed and a new list was drawn up. In October this was whittled down to Publicis and Saatchi & Saatchi.
The reason for the lengthy process is unclear, although there is speculation that some marketers at RBS felt uncomfortable with hiring a smaller agency. Latterly it is thought that the delay was down to the bank researching creative ideas proposed by Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis.
Last year RBS signed a sponsorship deal with The Six Nations Committee, meaning it will pay £15m over three years to back the annual rugby tournament. It is thought that any new creative will partly support this sponsorship.
Saatchis previously handled the same sponsorship for Lloyds TSB before losing the Lloyds account to Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R last year. RBS' last campaign through Faulds aimed to differentiate it from its rival, Bank of Scotland, and carried the strapline 'Make it Happen'.
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