NatWest goes back to basics

BYLN: By Sharon Marshall

NatWest will return to television advertising this weekend after a six-month break. The creative treatment has been reworked, but underlying the move is a major strategic shift away from above-the-line advertising.

In an exclusive interview with Marketing Week, NatWest director of marketing Raoul Pinnell reveals that the bank’s above-the-line ad spend will be confined to a 7.5m TV campaign and mono press support. Last year, NatWest spent 24.5m on media (Register-MEAL). The rest of the bank’s 100m marketing budget has been re directed towards below-the-line work, internal training and marketing programmes.

The new ads, through Bartle Bogle Hegarty, will break on Channel 4 on June 4 following a presentation to NatWest staff explaining advertising and marketing changes at the bank.

The ads follow a period of speculation about BBH’s hold on the NatWest account. In January, the agency was ordered to scrap its creative work and go back to the drawing board. The result is two new executions, one a glossy corporate image builder, the other a brasher piece that is likely to appeal to a younger audience. Both ads talk about the range of services offered by NatWest and introduce the catchline “NatWest. More than just a bank”.

John Bartle, BBH’s joint chief executive, insists the agency’s hold on the account was always secure. He adds: “When they are reviewing everything you wonder what is going to happen, but we never felt the Sword of Damocles hanging over our head.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here