Under-fire Barclays’ ad review is a poser for agencies

Barclays is reviewing its £60m creative account after 17 years at BBH. The bank, currently under siege from a dissatisfied investor and with a trial of its former CEO John Varley and others underway, moved its Barclaycard business into Droga5 London recently.

BBH’s ads for Barclays have been typically stylish over the years although they have tended to major on specific aspects of the bank rather than an over-arching brand effort.

Varley and co. have been accused by the serious Fraud Office (SFO) of fraud over a deal to pump money from Qatar into the bank at the height of the 2008 banking crisis. They deny the charges.

Shareholder Edward’s Bramson’s Sherborne Investors is challenging the board over its strategy, specifically its wish to remain a force in investment banking. Current CEO Jes Staley was fined £642,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority last year over his attempt to track down a “whistleblower” at the bank. He also repaid a £500,000 bonus.

So plenty to chew over for the agencies who’ll be asked to pitch.

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