NEWS: O&M keeps Eagle Star after review

Eagle Star, the insurance giant, has confirmed Ogilvy and Mather as the agency of record on its main pounds 7 million ad account, ending months of speculation that it was on the brink of losing the business.

Eagle Star, the insurance giant, has confirmed Ogilvy and Mather as the

agency of record on its main pounds 7 million ad account, ending months

of speculation that it was on the brink of losing the business.



However, the direct marketing side of the account - worth an estimated

pounds 4 million - will now be handled by Grey Integrated.



Tom Bury, O&M’s managing director, sparked the speculation earlier this

year when he admitted that the BAT Industries-owned company had been

considering moving its account to Grey Advertising, which handles BAT’s

smaller insurance brand, Allied Dunbar. At the time, Bury acknowledged:

‘After the success of the Allied Dunbar ads, Grey may be mounting a

pitch for Eagle Star’ (Campaign, 1 March).



BAT set up an internal review in June to decide whether its three

financial services brands - Eagle Star, Allied Dunbar and the fund-

management company, Threadneedle - should be marketed and advertised

separately or whether advertising could be consolidated under one roof.

The review was conducted by Grey Integrated (Campaign, 14 June) and is

understood to have involved the preparation of creative work for the

main account by Grey Advertising.



A spokesman for Eagle Star said: ‘O&M continues to work on the business

and there is no intention to work with Grey Advertising. We are now

working with O&M on new work due to break before the end of the year.’

The campaign will be backed by a spend of pounds 3 million.



No-one at O&M was available to comment.



Earlier this week, BAT announced the re-organisation of its UK

businesses under an umbrella group called British and American Financial

Services. The move has fuelled speculation that the company will examine

the viability of centralising the media planning and buying for the

brands with a single media company. Eagle Star’s media is handled by the

Network, while Allied Dunbar is with John Ayling and Associates.



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