BBH threat as Barclays slashes TV ad expenditure

Jim HytnerHigh street bank Barclays is slashing its TV ad spend in a dramatic overhaul of its marketing strategy and £40m advertising budget.

The bank is cutting its TV advertising for the remainder of 2007 in an attempt to focus on product-based advertising in press, posters and online. It comes less than a year after it pledged to increase its TV budget.

The integrated advertising campaign,which breaks on Monday, is worth £11m.
It is thought that the move could put further strain on the relationship with advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which is known for its TV work. Just last month the bank put its Premier League account, held by BBH, up for pitch against Barclays Capital incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi.

However, sources suggest that TV will form part of the bank’s strategy from spring next year, and that should BBH impress with the latest campaign, the relationship would strengthen.

A spokesman says that the new campaign will allow “greater flexibility” and a wider selection of media.

Marketing director Jim Hytner says the strategy will allow Barclays Retail Banking to have a “continual” media presence.

He says: “The new campaign will allow us to cover a lot more areas, focusing
on how Barclays helps you in all different areas of your life.”

Advertising will be grouped around loose themes, rather than featuring the fictional “staff” used in the TV spots in current activity.

The first work will focus on a “travel” theme, coinciding with the summer holiday season. It will highlight products and services ranging from travel insurance, currency delivered commission-free to consumers’ front doors and a new travel money card to help people budget and give extra security when abroad. Walker Media handles the media planning and buying.

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