The agency, which has held the business for six years, will complete work on the corporate and B2B account next month. BACS, the group responsible for processing direct debit payments, is understood to have organised a pitch to replace the firm.
MS&L managing director Nicholas Walters said the firm had declined to repitch for the business, but refused to say why. ‘By mutual agreement we have agreed to step down. There are a whole series of reasons, but I don’t feel the need to air them now,’ he said.
Ann-Marie Kesselman, corporate PR manager at BACS, said: ‘We are conducting a review of communications. Once it is complete, we will make an announcement.’
MS&L has handled business campaigns for the BACS direct credit scheme
since 1997 and began work on direct debit in December last year.
BACS uses Swordfish to promote the direct debit mechanism to firm’s that trade online. Swordfish is also working on BACS’ direct marketing campaigns to promote direct debit payment methods (PR Week, 18 April).
According to BACS, the number of people using internet banking rose from 3.5m in 2000 to 7.8m at the end of last year. It has estimated that more than two thirds of adults in the UK have set up at least one direct debit