Fallon is poised to win the £21 million More Th>n creative account after a final shoot-out against VCCP. The account was previously held by the financial specialist agency CCHM:Ping.
The move is likely to spell the demise of Lucky the dog, the brand's mascot which has been a feature of its advertising since its launch in 2001. VCCP is understood to have presented a strategy which kept the "lucky" theme, with a series of dog characters voiced by celebrities.
The Royal & Sun Alliance-owned insurance brand kicked off the review of its creative account in August this year, approaching Fallon, McCann Erickson, VCCP, St Luke's and CCHM: Ping to pitch. The process was managed by Neil Scaife, the head of marketing and communications at More Th>n.
CCHM:Ping had held the business for three years since winning it from Ogilvy & Mather. O&M devised the "more than lucky" strategy for the brand, but parted company with the insurance company one year later, citing "creative differences".
The appointment will see Fallon take responsibility for creating all above-the-line advertising on the More Th>n account. The win strengthens Fallon's grip on the business - Hyper Happen, the agency's digital joint venture with Naked, has been working on More Th>n business for several months, developing online planning ideas for the company.
In July this year, the VCCP-backed direct marketing start-up Stephens Francis Whitson picked up More Th>n's £10 million DM account. Media for the insurance brand is handled by Universal McCann. Neither relationship will be affected by the review.
The deal for the above-the-line duties on More Th>n is expected to be rubber-stamped by the parent company's new chief executive, Bridget McIntyre, within the next two weeks.
Commenting on the imminent agency appointment, Scaife said: "We have stood VCCP down and we are continuing to develop creative work with Fallon."
- Comment, page 48.