Abbey boosts marketing spend as it retains Carat to handle media

Abbey, the Grupo Santander-owned bank, is boosting its marketing budget by more than 10% to £31m to support the launch of new products and services in 2007 and 2008. It has also retained Carat to handle its media planning and buying without a pitch.

Jeremy Davies, brand and communications director, kicked off the review in march. The Aegis-owned agency had originally signed a one-year contract with Abbey in October 2005. Carat also picked up the Abbey digital contract from Mindshare Interaction in January 2006.

Last year Abbey spent £28.2m across internet, outdoor, press, direct marketing, radio and TV according to Nielsen Media Research. The 2005 review won by Carat followed Spanish financial services company Banco Santander’s £8bn takeover.

Abbey had worked with Carat for more than a decade before the account moved to Mindshare in 2003 following a review by then-chief executive Luqman Arnold.

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