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Barclays campaign to highlight quality of staff

LONDON - Barclays is embarking on a multimillion-pound bid to establish itself as a customer-friendly bank, backed by its biggest ad campaign in four years.

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At the same time, the bank's staff are to dumb down how they talk to customers. A "Tone of voice" project will simplify the language used to engage with customers, including that on in-branch signage. "Customer service" signs, for example, will now read "Can I help you?".

The strategy, masterminded by marketing chief Jim Hytner, will introduce the strapline "Barclays, now there's a thought", replacing "Fluent in finance".

A TV campaign, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, breaks on Friday. The ads focus on Barclays' staff and highlight the bank's "inventive spirit". "They show the staff's ability to come up with ideas that benefit customers at a local level," said Hytner.

The strategy will pit Barclays directly against rival Lloyds TSB's customer-focused "You first" positioning.

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