Santander launches £27m media agency contest

The banking group Santander has put its £27 million media planning and buying account, held by Carat, up for review.

Santander: reviewing its media account, currently held by Carat
Santander: reviewing its media account, currently held by Carat

Keith Moor, Santander’s director of brand and communications, is leading the review, which comes three years after it last re-evaluated its media arrangements following the creation of Santander from the merger of Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley.

Carat, which had worked on the Abbey part of the business since November 2005 and won Alliance & Leicester one year later, retained the account after a pitch. Bradford & Bingley’s agency, Mediacom North, was not invited to repitch.

Last year, the company conducted a statutory review of its ad account, which had been held by Engine. After a pitch process that included Grey and Leo Burnett, the business stayed with Engine.

Santander launched an ad campaign last month, through Engine’s WCRS, promoting its new brand positioning: "Driven to do better." This replaced the "Together. We are Santander" tagline and was designed to convince consumers that it is striving to improve its services.

The TV ads used the bank’s Formula One brand ambassadors Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button to promote Santander’s current account switcher offer and its 123 Cashback Credit Card. The work was supported by print, outdoor, online and in-store activity.

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