Guardian Life sets review as it mulls corporate ads

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In an effort to ensure its own future, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America is expected to launch its first-ever corporate branding campaign next year.

The financial services company currently is shopping for an ad agency as it prepares to introduce a spate of new products and services to consumers.


Guardian recently sent out requests for proposals to some 25 agencies located throughout the northeastern U.S., via search consultant AAR North America, New York.

Current agency Impressions, Roslyn Heights, N.Y., has been invited to participate.

The company, which currently spends about $2.5 million in advertising, may quadruple its budget next year, according to one agency executive.

The steep increase in ad spending comes as the company prepares to open a new broker/dealer unit and a new trust company.

"We haven't done a whole lot [of advertising], but it's going to become a new focus with the growth of the company," said Carol Cramer, Guardian assistant VP-advertising and public relations. "We want the [advertising] budget to evolve with the agency we choose."

Ms. Cramer said Guardian has "a new competitive strategy."

The review comes as more financial service companies try to take advantage of consumers' interest in investing and financial planning

Diversified marketers such as Liberty Mutual Group, AXA/Equitable and Aetna Life & Casualty have increased their emphasis on corporate branding campaigns.

"It's a competitive environment. Many financial services are trying to differenciate themselves in the marketplace," said Ms. Cramer.

A decision on the review is expected by December.

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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