Barclaycard US taps O'Malley Hansen as AOR

Barclaycard has moved its US AOR account from Sparkpr to O'Malley Hansen Communications after a review involving more than a dozen agencies.

WILMINGTON, DE: Barclaycard US has appointed O’Malley Hansen Communications as its PR AOR following a competitive review involving 15 agencies.

The firm, which was awarded the account for Barclays’ US credit-card business at the beginning of the year, went up against two other shops in the final round, said Nicole Dye-Anderson, assistant VP of media relations at Barclaycard US.

She said the review was "so tough because [the agencies] all had really core strengths in terms of what we were looking for," but O’Malley Hansen had the "full package."

The firm was chosen because of its strengths in consumer lifestyle media relations, consumer engagement, influencer outreach, digital PR, SEO, and crisis communications.

Prior to bringing on O’Malley Hansen, Barclaycard US worked with Sparkpr for more than seven years. Dye-Anderson said Spark did great work for the company and "helped grow the brand."

Sparkpr MD Ruth Sarfaty said, "We had a great, 15-year relationship with Barclaycard and its predecessor. Our relationship ended last year, but we’re very happy to hear that they have new momentum, and we’ll be rooting for them."

In addition to working with Barclaycard on strategic communications, integrated marketing, traditional media relations, influencer engagement, and issues management, O’Malley Hansen will pay close attention to consumer-engagement efforts, said Dye-Anderson.

She explained that it was important during the review process to find a firm that could "tell our story, not just sell our products."

"It’s not just talking about selling the plastic, but it’s saying how you can incorporate this into your lifestyle and how you can make your life better by using our rewards," she explained.

Selling credit cards is different than other goods because people not only have to know the product, they have to apply for it and get approved, said Dye-Anderson.

She added that the company also has to make sure the right audience is getting approved for cards.
Building stronger relationships with key influencers is another major task for O’Malley Hansen this year, Dye-Anderson added.

The firm will also work with Barclaycard’s 60 co-branded credit-card partners and will support branded cards, such as Barclaycard Arrival and Barclaycard Ring.

The contract is for one year. Budget information was not disclosed.

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