McCann-Erickson handles the brand advertising for Norwich Union life insurance.
It is understood that the agencies have been approached directly by the marketing department, bypassing Norwich Union's procurement division, which usually handles advertising briefs.
The move to ramp up its digital activity follows the creative review held by Norwich Union Direct in November 2002 for its £8 million business. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO won the pitch, run through Agency Insight, against BMP DDB, Leo Burnett and McCann-Erickson. The company had previously used McCann Relationship Marketing on a project basis.
AMV's first work for the brand appeared in February using the strapline "quote me happy" and the idea that Norwich Union quotes are so low that they make people really happy.
The Madness singer, Suggs, provides the voiceover for each of the five 30-second commercials.
In April, Publicis picked up the creative account for the supermarket giant Asda's insurance products, which have been launched in conjunction with Norwich Union.
According to the financial market research company Tulip, Norwich Union spent £36 million in 2001/2002, making it the UK's biggest financial advertiser.