Amex and NatWest in co-branded card deal

American Express is close to signing a deal with NatWest Bank to launch its first co-branded charge card in the UK.

The company card will be aimed initially at corporate customers, but is likely to be made available for personal use at some point.

At the same time, Amex is launching a global advertising campaign repositioning the brand as more than simply a charge card.

Initially, the company is spending $50m (33m) worldwide on the campaign, although the total marketing budget for the year may exceed $200m (131m).

The ads, which break in the UK on Monday, have been created by Ogilvy & Mather New York and will focus on the range of services offered by Amex, including credit cards, travel services and financial advice. The TV slots link the company’s services with images of consumers working, playing and planning for their futures.

Amex says the campaign underscores the changes that have been taking place within the company in recent years. These include broadening its traditional charge card business to include credit and co-branded cards and the selling, or spinning off, of subsidiaries to refocus on businesses operating under the American Express brand.

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