The UK’s biggest credit card issuer, Barclaycard, has appointed
Lexis PR and Band and Brown to handle its PR needs with combined fees in
excess of pounds 250,000.
The work is split into three accounts, and the agencies were appointed
after three five-way pitches. The pitch list also included GCI Group,
Grayling Group and Burson-Marsteller.
Band and Brown is looking after Barclaycard UK, the country’s largest
credit card issuer with more than 9.5 million cards in circulation and
7.6 million customers.
Meanwhile, Lexis is working for both Company Barclaycard and Barclay’s
Merchant Services (BMS).
Company Barclaycard is the UK’s leading issuer of corporate charge
cards, used in one in ten companies. BMS handles plastic card
transactions for over 130,000 retailers throughout the UK.
Early last year (PR Week, 9 April), Paul Barber, communications director
for the bank’s high street arm, Retail Financial Services, announced
that Barclays was reviewing its pounds 1.5 million PR spend.
A decision was then made to centralise the PR function. As a result, 16
of the bank’s existing agencies, including Charles Barker BSMG, Harrison
Cowley, Sector PR, GCI Group, Hill and Knowlton, Kinross and Render,
Paragon Golin/Harris and Barkers PR re-pitched alongside several new
competitors. At this stage, the entire Barclaycard account was with
During the summer, a new roster of three agencies - Lexis PR, GCI Group
and Hill and Knowlton - was drawn up to work across the consumer
Barclaycard was then handled in-house under the control of Lisa Bond,
who heads media relations for Retail Financial Services.
According to Bond, Barclaycard was always intended to be kept separate
from the PR work undertaken by the rostered agencies.
A separate pitch list was therefore drawn-up last month for the
Barclaycard account excluding Hill and Knowlton which had a client
conflict from its Amex work.
Despite the agency appointments, Bond is also in the process of
extending the in-house team by two to specifically work on Barclaycard.
A press officer has already been appointed and a vacancy exists for a PR
The Barclaycard UK account will be headed by Band and Brown group
account director Rowan Andrews. The Lexis accounts will be headed by
Duncan Mackenzie-Reid, who joined the firm from Charles Barker last