Barclays Bank is being tipped to review its creative account following the appointment of The Media Centre to handle its 18m media buying and planning account.
Barclays and the incumbent agency J Walter Thompson have denied the speculation, but sources close to the bank say the relationship is frayed and Barclays has held informal talks with other agencies.
The Media Centre’s win prevents it vying for the centralised TSB and Lloyds Bank account, which is up for pitch in mid-July (MW June 14). The Media Centre’s parent agency D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles handles TSB’s creative work.
Optimedia, JWT and BMP DDB dropped off Barclays’ shortlist, after a first round of pitches last month. Michael Head, marketing services director for Barclays’ personal sector, says the two incum-bents – The Media Centre and Media- star – were difficult to separate.
The account covers planning and buying for Barclays’ business and personal sectors, including savings, mortgages and youth products. Mediastar was the incumbent in the press buying for Barclays’ personal sector; The Media Centre had the rest of the business.
The pitch was called to streamline the account’s management.
The win does not include Barclaycard, still held by BMP DDB.
Barclays has also confirmed that Optimedia will handle the 1m media buying and planning on behalf of its consumer loans subsidiary Mercantile Credit. Publicis picked up the creative account last month.