The Royal Bank of Scotland has awarded the &£20m advertising account for two of its credit cards to Lowe Live and Miller Bainbridge.
Lowe Live will handle the &£10m work for RBS’ lifestyle credit card, Avanta, while Miller Bainbridge takes the NatWest card business, also worth &£10m. Both will create aboveand below-the-line work for the brands.
Lowe Live, formerly Lowe Direct, pitched against incumbent Tequila, which has held the account since 1996, and Ping. Miller Bainbridge pitched against Brann London and incumbent TBWA GGT, which has held the account since 1998.
NatWest’s below-the-line retail account, held by TBWA GGT is unaffected by the decision, as is the above-the-line retail work, now confirmed to have been won without a pitch by M&C Saatchi (MW September 28).
The work on RBS’ own-brand card, held by Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel, is also unaffected.
RBS director of credit cards Tim Lewis says: “It was a close pitch but we chose these two agencies because they were able to demonstrate the best strategic thoughts.”
Lewis says television campaigns have not been ruled out for either card. However, both rely heavily on direct marketing, particularly the Avanta card, which is not sold through branches.
RBS bought NatWest last year for &£21bn.
The Avanta card was launched in 1996 as a joint venture between RBS and the American Avanta Corporation. It has been wholly owned by RBS since 1998.