Barclays in Review

Barclays Global Investors has launched a review for its estimated $10-20 million ad account, according to sources.

A list of shops that are participating in the review was not disclosed. However, sources said the client is most likely looking for a midsized agency with experience working with financial companies.

A decision from the client is expected in August.

The account was most recently handled by Saatchi & Saatchi’s San Francisco office, which closed its doors several weeks ago because of the slow market. Saatchi has consolidated most of its other accounts at other branches but will likely not try to keep this account, according to sources.

One source said the review is somewhat similar to the pitch for the Virgin Mobile business, in that the client is trying to revamp and look for an agency at the same time. When Saatchi had the business last year, it claimed it was worth roughly $25 million.

Saatchi’s most recent campaign for Barclays consisted of three TV spots and an accompanying print effort for the client’s iShares program.

iShares allows investors to buy into numerous exchange-traded index funds. The company says the shares offer a way to play the stock market and also have the reliability of an index mutual fund.

Meantime, the Virgin Mobile pitch could kick into high gear soon, according to sources. The company is close to signing with carrier Sprint, a deal that could make the business much more attractive to agencies.