Bupa starts search for agency after O&M split

Bupa is reviewing its multi-million-pound advertising, media buying and direct marketing accounts out of the Ogilvy Group as it shifts the strategic side of its marketing business in-house.

Bupa is reviewing its multi-million-pound advertising, media buying

and direct marketing accounts out of the Ogilvy Group as it shifts the

strategic side of its marketing business in-house.



Bupa confirmed it was looking to appoint specialists in each area,

rather than working with one agency group on a full-service basis, and

hinted it would be seeking a smaller ad agency. The spokeswoman said:

’We want an agency whereby we are an important client to them.’



The healthcare insurer has drawn up a shortlist of agencies for its

pounds 4.7 million above-the-line business, previously handled by Ogilvy

& Mather, which was responsible for the ’you’re amazing’ campaign.



The split follows repeated talks between Bupa and other agencies,

understood to have included TBWA GGT Simons Palmer and BMP DDB.



Bupa’s group marketing director, Pat Stafford, is understood to have

approached agencies earlier this year with a view to reviewing the

business, but O&M was reappointed in June (Campaign, 25 June). A year

earlier, the company’s former marketing director, Bruce Tranter,

conducted a secret review which was abruptly abandoned when it became

public (Campaign, 15 August 1997).



Since the appointment of Stafford one year ago, Bupa has been beefing up

its marketing team as part of a company restructure. Recent appointments

include Simon Sheard as brand director, Eileen Folan as head of

marketing planning and intelligence and Elaine Greenwood as marketing

director of UK membership.



The strength of the marketing team means strategy and brand development,

previously handled by O&M, will now be developed internally.



A handful of below-the-line agencies have been invited to pitch for the

business, which was formerly held by OgilvyOne. Bupa declined to confirm

the shortlist.



Media planning and buying, held by MindShare, is also up for review.



The company has yet to draw up a shortlist, said the Bupa spokeswoman.



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