Nationwide to part ways with Mandate

Nationwide Building Society is to split from Mandate Communications after five years with the agency.

The firm will put its public affairs account out to pitch in the autumn. It is yet to draw up a short list, but Mandate will not be repitching for the work.

This week, both agency and client seemed unable to agree on who had instigated the split. Nationwide corporate affairs director Maxine Taylor said: 'We have enjoyed the working relationship we have had with Mandate, but after five years it is time for a fresh look at our public affairs brief.'

Meanwhile, sources at Mandate suggested the agency had called time on the account because the fees were relatively low and the agency wanted to focus on alternative potential clients in the financial arena.

In a statement, Mandate said: 'A number of businesses from across the financial services space are speaking to Mandate Communications regarding action in policy areas in the UK and EU. To properly be able to engage in these discussions, we felt it right to part company with Nationwide. It has been a privilege to work with Nationwide and we shall remain a friend to the business.'

Nationwide's public affairs team is headed by public affairs manager James Harborne. The firm handed AS Biss its public affairs account in January 2005, moving it from the now defunct LLM Communications. AS Biss was merged with Republic PR to form Mandate in 2007.

Nationwide also retains Brunswick for financial PR.

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