Initiative lands £8m Bupa media account

Private healthcare provider switches to IPG agency after competitive pitch.

Bupa: previous campaign focused on mental health
Bupa: previous campaign focused on mental health

Bupa has appointed Initiative as its media agency following a competitive pitch process.

The private healthcare provider split with WPP's Wavemaker after nine years, with the shop not invited to repitch.

The account requires strategic planning and media buying to support the growth of Bupa businesses including private medical insurance and dental services.

Bupa spent £7.6m on UK media in 2020, with the biggest areas being TV (£5.5m) and radio (£1m) and outdoor (£500,000), according to Nielsen estimates. This was an increase of £2.6m on its 2019 figures.

This is Initiative's first new-business win since James Shoreland's appointment to UK chief executive in November 2020.

Angelique Waker, brand and marketing effectiveness director at Bupa UK, said: "We're delighted to have appointed Initiative, whose strategic thinking and passion for our business stood out.

"We look forward to an exciting future together as we continue growing the Bupa brand in the UK. The pitch process was rigorous, and it was an absolute pleasure to talk to the talented people from all of the agencies that took part."

Ebiquity led the pitch process and The Aperto Partnership provided further commercial support.

The brand provides private health insurance to 2.3 million people in the UK, with other services comprising clinics, care homes, dental care and mental health.

In January 2020 MullenLowe London delivered a campaign focusing on mental health that challenged what is considered “normal”.

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