Abbey National has awarded its &£22m media buying business to MindShare and its strategic media planning account to Naked Communications following a whirlwind review. The business moves from Carat.
MindShare and Naked pitched against Initiative Media, Manning Gottlieb OMD and the incumbent.
According to insiders, media agencies were given just two days’ notice of the review, and pitched directly to Abbey National chief executive Luqman Arnold in 30-minute sessions. Unusually, no formal presentations were made and agencies were surprised that no third-party media auditors were present.
Abbey National’s marketing team is understood to have been excluded from the pitch, with the exception of product strategy director Gary Hockey-Morley.
Arnold adopted a similar whirlwind approach to the advertising pitch, which saw TBWA/London displace incumbent Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper as the bank’s agency in less than a week.
Arnold says: “The model of shouting loudly, trying desperately to be heard by consumers in a noisy and competitive market is outdated and inefficient. A new approach is needed, in keeping with our new strategy.”
Abbey National is believed to have unsuccessfully attempted to poach former marketing director Sara Weller – now deputy managing director of Sainsbury’s – for its vacant top marketing job of customer propositions director.