Interpublic Wins Holding Company Review for Zurich Insurance Group

Integrated Account Will Shift from Publicis, Which Has Had Business Since 2004

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Zurich Insurance Group has awarded Interpublic Group of Cos. its integrated global marketing account after a holding company review.

The pitch was led by McCann Worldgroup, and a team composed of resources from McCann Erickson, MRM and UM will lead all advertising, media and digital duties for Zurich going forward. Publicis Groupe -- the incumbent -- and WPP were among the contenders. Given WPP has been so successful at selling through its "team" model to large global marketers, it's surprising that it didn't emerge on top in this review.

Michael Roth, chairman-CEO at Interpublic Group, said in a statement: "We are honored to be selected by Zurich and to have the opportunity to contribute to their business in a meaningful way globally. This kind of integrated model is one that we have championed at our company, and it's a model that's tailor made for a company like Zurich."

For McCann it's a sign that the network is finally turning a corner and importantly, becoming a bit more competitive on the new business circuit. Earlier this year it took over the global Chevrolet account, including the U.S. portion that was at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and also signed a multiple-year contract with the U.S. Postal Service.

Zurich's primary business is in general and life insurance products and services for individuals as well as corporate insurance. According to an Ad Age DataCenter ranking of 2011 financial services companies, U.S. measured media spending was around $250 million. Global spending figures, given much of the company's business is in Europe, are likely higher.

In 2004, Zurich took the first step towards consolidating its account globally with a single holding company; before then it had worked with around 3,700 different partners around the world for its marketing needs. After a review, it awarded Publicis Groupe all its marketing and communications activities worldwide, with advertising duties led by Publicis Worldwide and media led by ZenithOptimedia.

Golf is one of the company's big corporate sponsorships, and its been a PGA Tour sponsor since 2006. Late last month, Zurich announced its contract was extended through 2019.

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