CHI loosens M&C grip after 15m RBS retail triumph

CHI & Partners has picked up Royal Bank of Scotland’s 15m retail advertising account from M&C Saatchi without a pitch.

CHI & Partners has picked up Royal Bank of Scotland’s £15m retail advertising account from M&C Saatchi without a pitch.

The financial services company’s ad business is split between the two agencies, with CHI handling the Mint credit card, as well as loans and mortgages, and M&C working on the NatWest business.

But it is thought that CHI has been handed the retail account for RBS – which includes all of the advertising for the bank side of the business in England, Scotland and Wales – previously held by M&C. M&C will continue to work on RBS Corporate, including its sponsorship activity.

CHI has already launched the first tranche of retail advertising, creating a New Year campaign featuring Smack the Pony comic Sally Phillips.

Meanwhile, The Communications Agency (TCA) is understood to have won more of the banking group’s below-the-line business and is expected to work across both the RBS and NatWest brands.

The changes follow last year’s deal to sell 49.9% of CHI to WPP (MW April 19, 2007). Sources suggest that WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell is keen to make further inroads into the RBS business. Media planning and buying is handled by WPP-owned MediaCom and is not thought to be affected by the latest changes to its advertising roster.

M&C Saatchi holds the £25m account for Direct Line. It also works on RBS-owned Privilege. Churchill is handled by WCRS. CHI and RBS declined to comment.

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