Northwestern Mutual Puts Creative Account Into Review

Minneapolis-Based Olson Not Defending the Business

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Life insurance and financial services company Northwestern Mutual has put its creative account into review.

The account had been with independent Minneapolis-based Olson since early 2010, which is not defending the business.

A Northwestern Mutual spokeswoman confirmed word of the review, saying the company is "in the early process of looking at new creative agencies for our future needs." The process will be managed internally. Northwestern Mutual's media agency, Publicis Groupe's Spark, will not be affected.

Northwestern Mutual spent nearly $40 million on U.S. measured media in the first nine months of 2013, according to Kantar Media. It spent $50.4 million in 2012 as a whole and $39.5 million in 2011.

Olson created the TV ads now on the air for Northwestern Mutual but said the client did not plan further TV work soon. "Northwestern Mutual recently informed us that it will not be producing any more television ads in 2014 as they intend to air the creative we released earlier this month for the remainder of the year," the agency said in a statement. "We've enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship, which culminated in them selling more insurance policies in 2012 than in any prior year, and besting even that record in 2013 when they boosted sales by another 8%. We're proud of our part in those results and are thankful for the opportunity to have worked on their great brand."

Northwestern Mutual's creative plans for later this year aren't entirely set in stone, the company spokeswoman said. "In terms of our 2014 creative, it has not been determined that we would stay only with the previous work that has been developed," she said.

The review comes a month after Olson picked up cosmetic company Wet n Wild Beauty's creative account, which followed the agency's October win of the Sharp account. The shop named former Dentsu and Time Warner executive John Partilla its CEO in January 2013.

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