Just five marketing communications agencies out of sixty-plus survived a review of below-the-line activity by Barclays Bank.

The chosen quintet – EHS Brann, McCann-Erickson Financial, Tequila, Forward Group and Fox Murphy – are now designated ‘partners’, working together and in tandem with Barclays’ senior marketing management.

Complementing the team in the curious role of ‘advisors’ are two individuals who also happen to be managing directors of rival b-t-l agencies: Jeremy Eaton (of Vital) and Emma Simpson Jarrett (DMP).

Equally unconventional was the selection process which saw teams from different agencies working together to tackle real briefs. The aim, according to Barclays group director of marketing operations Andrew Gillespie, was to establish a multi-disciplinary group of partners who not only had proven creative track records but were also able to cope with the scale of the work.

Says Gillespie: “Under the old roster system the organisations had to pitch for individual assignments, which led to long lead times and frustration both internally and among the people on the roster.”

News source: BrandRepublic (UK)