The Co-operative Bank has handed its direct marketing account to Havas Helia following a four-way pitch, just 12 weeks after the agency was dropped by TSB.
Helia beat off Tangible, Indicia and BJL in a review run by AAR which started in January. It has been tasked to develop the beleaguered bank’s customer communications, and position it as the only high street bank with a customer-led ethical policy.
The challenge is a daunting one; the lender, which nearly collapsed in 2013, has already warned that it does not expect to be profitable until at least 2017.
Although in its latest results it said pre-tax losses fell to £264.2m in 2014 from £632.8m the year before, customers are still leaving in their droves. Another 66,000 quit in 2014, meaning it now has to 1.4 million people on the books, down from 2.4 million in 2012.
OgilvyOne previously handled the DM accounts for both The Co-operative Group and the bank, which also owns online brand Smile. The bank was spun off from the Co-op Group in 2013.
Co-op Bank marketing director Alastair Pegg said: “Havas Helia’s creativity stood out during a rigorous process that ensured we chose a partner that will support our commitment to continuously improve the customer experience and build on our ethical credentials.”
Havas Helia split from the TSB just days after rebranding from Havas EHS, 18 months into its contract. Some claimed the banking group was looking for greater support at its Bristol base, although this turned out to be something of a red herring as it subsequently appointed London-based MRM Meteorite to the account.
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