Barclays looks to rebuild brand trust with anti-fraud campaign

Having launched a new TV ad promoting fraud awareness, Barclays’ marketing director for personal and corporate banking Claire Hilton says it will be the ‘first of many’ as the bank hopes issue-based marketing can boost trust in its brand.

The new ad, which Barclays claims is an industry first example of a mainstream UK bank raising awareness of fraud via a TV spot, shows a seemingly trustworthy Barclays advisor appealing for personal banking details.

However, a legitimate Barclays employee quickly calls out the imposter and offers advice to consumers on how to protect themselves from online phishing scams. The TV ad is supported by social media activity and a partnership with Get Safe Online.

Hilton told Marketing Week: “We have a responsibility to make our consumers aware of fraud and if they can see we’re trying to do the right thing, that will only build trust in the brand.

“I’m sure this will be just the start as we want to continue the fraud conversation in our advertising throughout the year.”

The banking brand’s focus on upping its trust levels could be wise, with Barclays currently ranked 25th out of the UK’s 30 biggest banking brands when it comes to the reputation brand metric on YouGov’s BrandIndex.

Its Index score, a combination of consumer perception within areas such as quality, value, reputation and brand recommendation, is currently on -4 points; putting it 29th on the list, with only the Royal Bank of Scotland performing worse.

Becoming more responsible

Barclays is also currently advertising its LifeSkills initiative, which aims to help young people gain the necessary skills in the pursuit of employment, on TV.

Over recent years, trust levels have fallen in banking brands after a number of high-profile scandals. Just last year, Barclays was hit with a record fine as it and five other banks pleaded guilty to rigging the $5.3trn-a-day foreign exchange market. HSBC has also seen its brand perception plummet after its involvement in a high-profile tax evasion scheme was made public last February.

However Hilton says Barclays is committed to being a responsible brand.

She added: “We need to both raise and highlight issues as a brand. We’re currently on TV not only with the fraud ad but a LifeSkills one too, and I think it shows we’re not only committed to advertising the quality of our service but also making a societal impact too.”

Last November, Nationwide announced the appointment of Sara Bennison, who was formerly chief marketing officer for Barclays’ personal and corporate bank, as its new CMO. And Hilton expects Bennison’s replacement to be announced shortly.

She concluded: “We are undertaking a thorough internal and external search to replace Sara, that is happening as we speak.

“While that is completed, we already have a strong leadership team in place from a marketing perspective. I cannot comment on timelines but I’d hope we find someone sooner rather than later.”

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