TRAVELERS GROUP OPENS $10 MIL REVIEW: BRAND ADS, 2 SUBSIDIARIES INCLUDED IN ASSIGNMENT

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Travelers Group, looking to position itself as a diversified financial services company, is conducting an agency review for its estimated $10 million account.

The holding company is searching for an agency to handle brand image advertising as well as its Travelers Life & Annuity and Travelers Property Casualty subsidiaries.

Incumbent MacNamara, Stewart & Saperstein, New York, will be included in the review. Agency Chairman Alan Saperstein said he hadn't heard of a review when asked about it Aug. 15; he referred the call to Travelers.

Travelers' Smith Barney unit, handled by McCann-Erickson Worldwide, is unaffected by the review. Travelers last year backed Smith Barney with $16 million in media, or 62% of the company's $25.8 million budget, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

LOOKING BEYOND INSURANCE

Travelers, best known as an insurance provider, wants to send the message that it provides a range of investment services and consumer finance products in addition to its traditional life, property and casualty insurance policies.

"We're looking at an agency to help us advertise those three entities that have a common brand identity," said Keith F. Anderson, VP-corporate communications for Travelers Property Casualty.

He declined to identify participants, other than the incumbent.

Agencies including McCann and BBDO Worldwide were said to have been contacted by Travelers. BBDO declined to participate, said agency executives familiar with the review.

Michael A. Carpenter, an exec VP with the holding company and CEO of the life insurance unit, is leading the agency search.

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