RBS/NatWest merger to hit marketing

Agencies and marketing departments are expecting a fallout from Royal Bank of Scotland’s &£20bn takeover of NatWest.

An RBS spokesman says it is too early to say whether the deal will change agency relationships or lead to marketing job losses.

The bank has previously said the deal will result in about 18,000 job losses, most of them from the branch network.

The two banks began integration talks early this week and are expected to thrash out changes to senior management before addressing marketing.

Some sources say it would make sense to combine the two brands into a new superbrand, resulting in advertising being consolidated into a single agency.

This happened when Lloyds Bank merged with TSB, and HSBC rebranded its businesses, including Midland Bank, under the parent banner.

RBS uses Faulds Advertising on all its creative accounts, including its subsidiary Direct Line. Media is split between Mediacom TMB North, Mediacom TMB Scotland and MediaVest Manchester. Direct marketing is handled by WWAV Rapp Collins, Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel and Smith Bunny Carlson.

Meanwhile, NatWest recently consolidated its creative account into TBWA GGT Simons Palmer.

Motive Communications works on NatWest’s media planning and buying accounts, and SPS Advertising, Stretch the Horizon and Terre work on its below-the-line business.

NatWest recently restructured its marketing department into five units. These are small business, mortgage, insurance, life and retail.

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