HBOS in search for extra below-the-line roster agency

Financial services group HBOS is looking to add an agency to its below-the-line roster to handle promotional activity.

The company wants a “strategic promotional marketing partner”, and is believed to be in talks with up to eight agencies. The pitch is being handled by the AAR and a shortlist is expected to be drawn up before the end of the month.

It already retains Dialogue DLKW, OgilvyOne and JDA Group as its direct marketing roster, and it is not thought that the pitch will affect their positions. Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners and Vizeum handle the bank’s advertising and media planning and buying.

HBOS lost one of its most senior marketers last year when head of customer and brand strategy James Boulton left to join rival HSBC. Boulton was not directly replaced but his responsibilities were assumed by head of customer strategy Gerald McLarnon. He reports directly to director of marketing and customer relations Philip Hanson.

HBOS’ new chief executive Andy Hornby took formal charge of the bank last week from Sir James Crosby.

The company has just unveiled a 13% rise in pre-tax profits to &£2.6bn for the half year, despite a sharp rise in bad debts from &£470m to &£592m.

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