Saatchi & Saatchi has won the £15 million UK creative account for Axa, the French financial business, without a pitch.
The agency was awarded the business following an unresolved UK pitch earlier this year. The account first went up for review through creativebrief in November and TBWA\London, VCCP, Euro RSCG and WFCA, the incumbent, were shortlisted but no decision was reached.
In February, Axa France appointed Publicis Conseil to handle the French advertising business, after a shoot-out against Clemenger BBDO. That decision is thought to have instigated the move to appoint the fellow Publicis Groupe-owned Saatchis.
The agency will develop the UK brand identity for the company's investment products, which include life-cover, insurance, pensions, healthcare and protection. Advertising is expected to include TV, radio, print, press and digital.The account will be run out of Team Saatchi to avoid conflicts with the financial brand Standard Life.
Until now, the majority of the company's global marketing has been handled by Grey Australia, with work adapted by local agencies on a market-by-market basis. The company's last major UK TV ad, "building blocks", created by Grey, featured a father returning home to find his daughter spelling out "palaeontology" with her toys.
The appointment does not affect Beattie McGuinness Bungay's position on the Axa roster after it was handed the Axa Solutions business-to-business account last year.
The company recently concluded a pitch for its media business by splitting its planning and buying accounts between MPG and MindShare.
Saatchi & Saatchi declined to comment on the win.