NFU Mutual Insurance, the 100-year-old insurance arm of the National
Farmers’ Union, has been talking to agencies about how best to move
beyond its traditional farming client base.
A ‘substantially increased’ advertising spend has been earmarked by the
group to sell its financial products - particularly general insurance -
to other users of the countryside, its head of marketing, Rolf Wilson,
Wilson explained that the numbers of farmers and farm workers had been
declining since the beginning of the century, and this, together with a
desire to spread the NFU’s risk from only one earning group, has
prompted a move to drum up business from outside the farming fraternity.
Two years ago, the NFU launched a new category of membership to cover
people living in rural areas but not necessarily on farms. This has
proved very successful, drawing an extra 30,000 members, Wilson claimed.
‘We’re not going to compete head on with anyone,’ Wilson explained. ‘We
insure horses, horse trailers, Land Rovers. We’re likely to pick on
sectors in which we specialise.’
Wilson confirmed that two Midlands-based shops, McCann-Erickson Central
and Cogent, have been shortlisted for strategic pitches this week. He
said no specific budgets had been set to tackle the wider audience, but
agencies had been asked to come up with the best ways to achieve this.
Industry observers set the sum at around pounds 2 million.
The most recent incumbent on NFU Mutual’s general insurance account was
the Midlands shop, RTA Advertising. However, a recent breakaway from the
agency prompted Wilson to check out other agencies.