NEWS: Zenith in cold as Abbey drops project

Zenith Media looks likely to be dropped from the pounds 12 million Abbey National General Insurance account following a last-minute decision by the bank to market its new direct insurance product under the main brand. The future of the creative agency on the account, Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters, is unclear.

Zenith Media looks likely to be dropped from the pounds 12 million Abbey

National General Insurance account following a last-minute decision by

the bank to market its new direct insurance product under the main

brand. The future of the creative agency on the account, Duckworth Finn

Grubb Waters, is unclear.



Abbey National was intending to launch the product, called Future, in

November. Media space had already been optioned for a television

campaign produced by Duckworth Finn.



The product, which is codenamed Project Midsummer, will now be launched

at a later date under the Abbey National name. The building society is

due to talk to the agencies next week but says it will scrap all

existing advertising in favour of a possible below-the-line push.



Elaine Robinson, the former managing director of Midsummer and the

marketing director of Abbey National General Insurance, said: ‘We

haven’t got down to making decisions about agencies yet. We will be

talking to Duckworth Finn about how we can take on its excellent work on

the planning side, but I would have thought it unlikely we will work

with Zenith in the future.’



Robinson added: ‘We haven’t even decided if there will be any above-the-

line advertising.’



Christine Walker, chief executive of Zenith, said: ‘We have been

informed by Abbey National that the project we were working on is no

longer active.’



Michael Finn, the managing director of Duckworth Finn, said that his

agency was also unclear about what was happening. ‘We have a contract

and will continue to work with them until such time as they decide

otherwise,’ he said. ‘We have a meeting to discuss things soon.’



Abbey National’s main business is divided between Barker and Ralston,

which handles print work, and Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, which creates TV

campaigns.



Media is centralised into TMD Carat.



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