Lloyds group puts account into MEC

Lloyds Banking Group has appointed mediaedge:cia (MEC) to handle its £80m consolidated media planning and buying account following a four-month pitch process.

The business comprises financial brands Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland (HBOS), as well as specialist brands such as Cheltenham & Gloucester (C&G) and Birmingham Midshires.

MEC will plan and buy media across the entire group account from the beginning of 2010. Incumbent agencies ZenithOptimedia and Vizeum are expected to continue to work with Lloyds TSB and HBOS respectively on existing plans for the rest of the year.

Joe Clift, brand and customer marketing director for the Lloyds group, who led the pitch process, said the appointment would not affect the group's existing marketing strategy. 'The role of the media agency will be to enable continuity across all brands. The main benefit of consolidating the account is greater value, and this was a significant focus of the pitch,' he added.

The pitch list originally included the incumbents as well as MEC and OMD. In July, it was whittled down to MEC and ZenithOptimedia.

Lloyds Banking Group is currently reviewing plans to close its C&G subsidiary. It announced in June that all 164 C&G branches across the UK would close in November. However, it has since said that branches will not close this year and the brand may be retained.

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