Nationwide launches oddly-timed £20m ad review

‘Tis the season of account reviews – maybe clients get too long off work between Christmas and New Year and have to find something to do when they get back to work – and Nationwide is reviewing its £20m business, currently at 18 Feet & Rising.

Britain’s biggest building society says: “Nationwide has confirmed it is reviewing its creative and brand agency model to reflect a modern, integrated brand and digital communications landscape. The review will look to strengthen perceptions of Nationwide as the true alternative to high-street banks.”

Which is what they all say these days, probably with reason as clients you talk to moan more than anything about the proliferating number of agencies they have to deal with, with all the attendant turf wars. They really want one agency – with a few add-ons maybe – that can do the lot. But how can you tell?

ISBA is helping Nationwide with the review so it will be interesting to which agencies a client body thinks fit this rather demanding bill.

!8 Feet CEO Jonathan Trimble says: “We continue to work for Nationwide during this process. Longer term, we will have to see if this new approach is one we can support. We are proud to stand for a certain style of work and that will always continue.” Which doesn’t sound as though he’s very thrilled about it all, reasonably enough.

18 Feet has performed creditably on Nationwide since it won the business in 2011 although the campaign doesn’t seem to have developed as much as it might have done. Although this might well not be the fault of the agency, given the upheavals in Nationwide’s marketing department.

Still pretty good though:

Campaign reports that the review is being led by acting marketing director Stephen Leonard while the building society hires a replacement for the departed Andy McQueen. The timing is therefore a bit peculiar as the new man or woman will presumably have their own pet agencies. Maybe McQueen’s departure nixed 18 Feet.

So the review might not be wholly about the need for joined-up digital and other stuff.

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