Barclays is understood to have appointed Landor Associates to advise on its international marketing and communications strategy.
US-based Landor is an international branding specialist, owned by WPP Group. Although best known for its work with airlines, it has also worked for financial institutions such as Citibank.
Landor’s appointment may be linked to the arrival last year of pioneering US banker Deanna Oppenheimer as Barclays’ UK banking chief operating officer. At Seattle-based bank Washington Mutual, Oppenheimer introduced concierges, children’s play areas, bookstores and shops selling “Action Teller” dolls.
A Barclays spokesman confirms Landor’s appointment, but adds: “We are using it for some consultancy work. It’s blue-sky thinking. We’re not going to shake up the master brand – you’re not going to see a complete relaunch.”
It is not thought the Landor project will affect the bank’s advertising arrangements – the UK agency of record is Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Barclays has this year reviewed its &£70m media planning and buying account and its &£30m direct marketing account. Media was moved out of Starcom and into Walker Media (MW March 23), while direct marketing incumbent EHS Brann split the account with WWAV Rapp Collins (MW last week).
Barclays has changed its advertising strategy repeatedly in the past five years. In 2001, its “Big” campaign, featuring actor Robbie Coltrane, focused on how a big bank could still be flexible. In 2002, its “Fluent in Finance” campaign used Hollywood star Samuel L Jackson to highlight how Barclays used jargon-free language when communicating with customers.
In 2004, Donald Sutherland and Gary Oldman grew money trees. Finally, last October, it introduced a new strapline, “Barclays. Now there’s a thought”, and focused on how staff were constantly coming up with innovative services for its consumers.