The7stars nets challenging brief from challenger TSB

TSB-3TSB, the company which likes to position itself as a “challenger bank” , has appointed “challenger agency” the7stars to handle its media planning and buying account after a competitive pitch.

The business, which was put up for review in August, has been held by Denstu Aegis Network agency Vizeum for the past three years. The agency did repitch but was knocked out an earlier stage of the process.

The7stars will start working on the account in the new year, having fought off Publicis Groupe agency Blue 449 and Interpublic’s Initiative in a final showdown.

TSB chief marketing officer Peter Markey said: “We knowingly issued a tough brief that would really test the mettle of these agencies and they all rose to the challenge. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been privileged to work with what I am convinced is some of the world’s best talent in the media business.

“We ran a rigourous process, but it was essential that we got this right, and my team and I are convinced we’ve made the best choice in the7stars. Like us, the7stars is a challenger brand ploughing its own furrow, and that’s just what we need.”

All of which begs the question why TSB asked the others to pitch in the first place.

The7Stars will work closely with creative agency Joint London, as well as its recently formed in-house agency, The TSB Studio, which handles online content, customer experience and eCRM.

However, there are still plenty of challenges ahead for the bank’s marketing. Earlier this year, TSB reported that it had turned 2017’s £162.7m profit into a £105.4m statutory loss for 2018 following last year’s IT meltdown. It also lost 80,000 customers amid 204,000 complaints.

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