LH-S axes 11m Lloyds business

Lowe Howard-Spink has stunned the advertising industry by surrendering the 11m Lloyds Bank advertising account after a 15-year tenure following contractual differences.

Though LH-S cites “strategic and creative differences” of opinion, it is understood that the final blow came when Lloyds made it clear to LH-S that a renegotiation of the fee would be made in the repitch.

A spokesman for the bank says it is “surprised and saddened by LH-S’ decision”.

It is also understood that LH-S was unhappy at the way that Lloyds marketing was increasingly handled by director of brands Chris Moss, formerly of mobile phone operator Orange. Moss appointed Wolff Olins to work on a poster advertising campaign for Lloyds which breaks in the autumn.

The relationship is believed to have deteriorated before Lloyds current director of marketing Ford Ennals took over in November 1996 (MW November 8).

His predecessor Tim Pile switched the bank’s media buying from LH-S into CIA Medianetwork before leaving to join Alliance & Leicester (MW August 8 1996).

However, Ennals is thought to have had several of his own disagreements with LH-S over creative work and fees.

Ennals has been in charge of a review of Lloyds TSB’s branding and advertising and is understood to have favoured TSB incumbent agency DMB&B to build the new identity.

The new-look branches – designed by Wolff Olins – will be branded Lloyds TSB, with a blue and green design featuring a black horse with grey flecks to give the bank a softer image. The new livery is being run as a pilot programme and will be rolled out nationally next year.

Though DMB&B is tipped to pick up the Lloyds TSB account plus mortgage arm Cheltenham & Gloucester, it is understood that the bank will farm out pieces of business to different agencies along the lines of building society Nationwide. C&G is currently handled by Saatchi & Saatchi.

LH-S created Lloyds ads featuring the late Paul Eddington, Nigel Havers and Jan Francis plus the Tales of the Black Horse campaign featuring fairy tales which highlighted the benefits of Lloyds mortgage savings and investment products.

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