HFC Bank to put Marbles cards PR work out to pitch

Household International's UK subsidiary, HFC Bank, is seeking a new PR agency to handle a six-figure fee account for its Marbles credit card and associated financial services.

Martin Rutland, HFC corporate communications director, is considering several UK agencies to handle the next phase - part of what will be a multi-million pound marketing campaign set for next year.

According to Rutland, Edelman PR Worldwide, which Household started working with in the US this year, is not in the running.

With 200,000 cardholders and prompted awareness ratings of 50 per cent among UK consumers, Rutland said the marketing programme fulfilled its aim of getting the brand name recognised.

The 2001 integrated programme will redeploy expenditures to more tactical tools such as PR, while the role of TV advertising is set to diminish, Rutland said.

'The brief will be to take the Marbles brand value forward, strengthening the relationship with the existing 200,000 cardholders and also to work closely with the advertising agency, Mother,' said Rutland.

'I'd be very keen to bring on board an agency that complements the marketing mix we already have and work with our existing financial agency, Luther Pendragon,' he added.

Rutland hopes to make an announcement about the appointment before Christmas.

HFC launched the Marbles brand as an internet-safe credit offering late last year.

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