Is Barclays tip-toeing down the agency-bashing route?

Well it might be, according to a story in Campaign.

Unknown-7Apparently Barclays has hired search outfit Oystercatchers to conduct an “an internally focused management consultancy-type project” to review all its 200-odd global agencies as part of a company-wide efficiency drive.

Which usually leads to fewer agencies (200 plus does sound rather a lot) and lower fees. Or, in the case of GSK and Premier Foods, demands for payments to stay on the roster or gain access to it.

Now it may be that Barclays CEO Anthony Jenkins is too much of a gent to do any such thing – but don’t count on it. Cynics might say he could save much more money by cutting the bonuses the bank pays to journeymen investment bankers but this is The City we’re talking about.

Waiting rather nervously for the results of the review will be Barclays’ UK agencies BBH, Dare (which handles digital) and media planner and buyer Maxus. Oystercatchers and, no doubt, Barclays’ procurement people might bear in mind that BBH has produced some outstanding advertising over the past year for the ever-under-fire bank.

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