TSB has handed MRM McCann an elevated role as lead creative agency after ending its seven-year relationship with Joint.
Joint was appointed in 2012, ahead of the relaunch of TSB as an independent bank the following year, 14 years after it was merged into Lloyds TSB. Joint scooped the business after a four-way pitch involving 101 (now part of MullenLowe London), Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi.
TSB was one of the first clients of Joint, then recently launched by Richard Exon, Damon Collins and Lori Meakin.
Public perceptions of the bank in the past two years have been heavily affected by a huge IT failure in April 2018 that left almost two million customers locked out of their accounts.
Up until that point, TSB had been the UK’s fastest-growing high-street bank – but the disaster led to the loss of 80,000 customers, while chief executive Paul Pester was forced to resign in September 2018.
A report issued last month blamed a lack of common sense for the crisis – but just three days later, another IT glitch meant that some customers failed to receive payments into their accounts, including wages and pensions. This led MoneySavingExpert.com’s Martin Lewis to recommend that TSB customers switch their accounts.
The magnitude of these challenges is bound to have played a part in the decision to pursue a new direction for the brand’s agency relationships. A recent story in The Mail on Sunday stated that five advertising agencies had been "drafted in to design a new marketing campaign" – although Campaign understands this referred to TSB’s agencies across all disciplines, including Joint, MRM McCann and the7stars.
MRM Meterorite, as it was then called, was appointed to TSB’s CRM account in 2015. The7stars was appointed to TSB’s media account in October after it split with Vizeum.
A TSB spokesman said: "Our creative agency partners have been instrumental to our success over the last seven years. As we plan for the successful delivery of our three-year strategy, it is key that we lean in to the best aspects of those partnerships to continue to develop our brand and business.
"After a short process with our roster agencies, we have decided to build upon the work of MRM McCann by expanding how we work with them moving forward as our lead creative agency. And we very much look forward to working together, as we continue to make banking better for everyone.
"We have therefore mutually agreed with Joint that now is the right time for a different direction. We are grateful for the key role they have played in relaunching TSB and all their work over the past seven years."
Exon commented: "We’ve loved our seven years with TSB. We wish them the best for the future and we are looking forward to fresh opportunities in 2020."