After 18 years together, AMI has said goodbye to DDB and shifted the business to Colenso BBDO, which works on fellow IAG-owned brands State and NZI.
Justin Mowday, DDB's managing director, was obviously disappointed with the decision, which he believes is based entirely on the new ownership structure and the hunt for cost efficiencies after the Australian-based IAG bought AMI from the Government for $380 million at the start of the year ($1.8 billion of earthquake-related liabilities remained with the Government).
"We wish them well, but after an 18 year relationship, we're disappointed not to have the opportunity to continue to work with them."
Mowday wasn't keen to comment further but it's thought there was no pitch involved in the decision and one source says DDB, which recently rallied AMI's troops in a campaign to help address some post-quake issues wasn't given the opportunity to plead its case, either for AMI or for the other IAG brands.
He did say, however, that even after the problems experienced by the company after the quakes, AMI's tracking still rates higher than any insurance brand in the country.
Colenso BBDO's managing director Nick Garrett is obviously pleased IAG chose to bring AMI over their way and says he's "thrilled to get the opportunity to continue a brilliant relationship with IAG".
IAG has sent through a release:
Leading general insurance group IAG has completed an internal assessment of its agency partnerships and has confirmed that AMI’s above-the-line advertising and media work will move to Colenso and Spacestation respectively, sharing the agency stable alongside IAG’s other direct insurance brand State.
IAG’s Head of Marketing and Communications, Michael Pryor, says the opportunity is to ensure that a strategic portfolio approach is at the forefront of how IAG maintains its market leadership position with its direct insurance brands.
“The insurance industry is going through a significant period of change. It is important for us to ensure a well coordinated strategy borne of a deep knowledge of the value propositions of our direct insurance brands. In our view this can best be achieved by consolidating work with marketing partners who can support our portfolio approach and broader strategy.
“The strong existing relationships we have with Colenso and Spacestation will work well to serve AMI and State equally. As a result of us working collaboratively across AMI and State we are also expecting to see benefits in terms of greater coordination and marketing efficiencies with our chosen agency partners,” Mr Pryor said.
This decision means that AMI will move its marketing relationships from DDB and OMD (Media).
“Both DDB and OMD have contributed strongly to the success of the AMI brand over many years. The relationship has seen some memorable campaign work– but circumstances since IAG’s purchase of AMI earlier this year present the opportunity and need for change.
IAG chose not to follow a pitch process in the view that these can often be disruptive, time consuming and cause a loss of marketing momentum.