JWT loses £22m Axa account as Grey Australia steps up

The French insurance giant Axa has parted company with JWT after just two years.

The UK advertising account, worth £22 million, will be handled by Grey Worldwide's Australian agency, which won Axa's ad account in that market last year.

Grey is said to have come up with a creative idea for Axa Australia that the insurance giant believes will work well in the UK, negating the need for a UK agency.

According to an Axa spokesman, the company feels it no longer needs a UK advertising agency.

JWT won the Axa account in 2003 in a shoot-out against DDB. TBWA\London, Publicis, BMP, WFCA Integrated and HHM were involved at an earlier stage.

The review was a winner-takes-all contest for the advertising for the company's three divisions Axa Sun Life, Axa PPP Healthcare and Axa Insurance.

JWT's last work for Axa includes sponsorship idents for an eight-month run of British drama on ITV3 as the French insurer aims to build on a successful 2004. Last year, Axa posted net profits of EUR13.7 billion.