Standard Life seeks direct agencies

Standard Life has called a pitch to find a roster of agencies to handle its below-the-line advertising account.

The insurer has approached at least three agencies, both independent and network, with a view to setting up a roster to manage its portfolio of financial and life insurance products.

Talks are understood to be at an early stage and no formal pitch arrangements have yet been made. The appointed agencies would be drawn upon to promote a range of Standard Life's products including ISAs, pensions, life assurance and mortgages.

Earlier this year, Standard Life appointed Meteorite to promote its SIPP pension product through a combination of media including microsites, advisor resources, direct marketing and roadshows.

The pitch does not affect VCCP, which was appointed to Standard Life's £7 million advertising account after a pitch against undisclosed agencies last October.

VCCP won the account after Standard Life ended its 18-month relationship with Saatchi & Saatchi soon after Saatchis won the £15 million Axa business.

The insurer is currently restructuring its marketing team, which is overseen by its chief marketing officer, Simon Gulliford.

It recently hired Simon Esberger, a former marketing director at Haagen-Dazs, as marketing operations director and is set to appoint a UK marketing division head to report to its director of marketing, Andrew Gillespie.

The company also announced last month that it is to axe nearly 200 jobs from across the business.

Standard Life declined to comment.