Barclaycard puts 15m ad account up for review

Barclaycard is reviewing its 15m advertising account after nine years at BMP DDB. It now faces tough competition from new entrants to the UK market which offer lower interest rates and free membership.

Four agencies – Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, WCRS and incumbent BMP – have been shortlisted. A decision is expected by the end of October.

Paul Parmenter, marketing director at Barclaycard, cites the Rowan Atkinson TV campaign and the current “Don’t put it off…Put it on” push as highlights of BMP’s nine year stint.

“However, looking forward to 1999, it is clear that this is an ideal time for Barclaycard to consider some new thinking and ideas,” he adds.

Inside sources say Barclaycard, which charges 22.9 per cent APR (interest rate) and a 10 annual fee, is under intense pressure from new entrants – including the supermarket banks, Amex Blue Card, Goldfish, and US-based MBNA. They offer APR rates as low as 9.9 per cent (Amex Blue) and customers are starting to shop around.

Media for Barclaycard is not being reviewed and will stay with BMP Optimum.

BBH and AMV are also battling it out for the $40m (25m) Visa International account – Barclaycard is a member bank of the Visa association. The two agencies are competing against J Walter Thompson and incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi.

In a separate move, Barclaycard is launching its flagship card, Barclaycard Visa, in France as part of an attack on the European credit-card market.

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