Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has appointed Clemmow Hornby Inge (CHI) to handle the advertising of its new UK mortgage consumer brand First Active. The advertising, which will be launched at the end of this year, will be backed by a media spend of about &£12m.
Jayne-Anne Gadhia, who is the managing director of RBS’s other mortgage brand The One Account, is overseeing the launch. The One Account’s marketing chief David Ramsbottom has responsibilities for both brands and is building up a marketing team to support First Active.
First Active’s brand proposition is basic, best-value mortgages, whereas The One Account, markets a lifestyle current account and offset mortgages aimed at young professionals. CHI already handles the &£10m advertising business for The One Account.
First Active mortgages began to be sold through intermediaries in June but a full consumer launch in England, Wales and Scotland will take place later this year. First Active is a standalone high street brand in Eire and Northern Ireland.
RBS bought The Virgin One Account from Virgin in 2001 and rebranded a year later. Managing director Jayne-Anne Gadhia then personally oversaw the shift of its advertising business to CHI from TBWA/London (MW September 18, 2003).
There is widespread media speculation about RBS’s ambitions to become a bigger player in the UK mortgage market and its links with Banco Santander Central Hispano, which has made a &£8.3bn bid for Abbey.
Halifax Bank of Scotland, the largest mortgage player in the UK and possible rival bidder for Abbey, has protested to the European Commission about the links between RBS and Banco Santander.