21st Century Insurance Hands Media Account to Mindshare

Marketer Shifts to WPP Shop Without a Review

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Auto insurer 21st Century Insurance and Financial Services has shifted its estimated $50 million U.S. media planning and buying account to WPP's Mindshare without a review. The account was previously run by Omnicom Group's Omnicom Media Group.

The auto-insurance provider is part of the Farmers Insurance Group of Cos., the third-largest personal-lines insurer in the country. Mindshare also handles the the $100 million Farmers Insurance media business, as well as that of Farmers Insurance Group parent Zurich Financial Services Group.

21st Century Insurance was purchased in 2007 by AIG, which then sold the company to Farmers in April of 2009.

Tony DeSantis, president-CEO of 21st Century Insurance, in a statement said the company selected Mindshare because of its capabilities in developing integrated media strategies "that will help move our brand forward in the highly competitive insurance category." The category includes big name marketers and spenders at the national and local levels, such as Geico, Allstate, State Farm and Progressive .

According to Kantar, 21st Century spent $50.4 million in 2009 on domestic measured media.

Mindshare's New York office, which will manage the account, will begin working on the assignment immediately. The shop is kicking off this month in much the same way it started May, when it won the $150 million CVS and $150 million Radio Shack media accounts. 21st Century Insurance joins a long list of recent new-business wins for Mindshare, including Abbott Laboratories' $230 million-plus U.S. media-planning and -buying account; the $220 million media account for Boehringer; the $60 million Sun Products account; and the $10 million Skyy Spirits business. In February, the shop also retained Unilever's $800 million North American media-planning and -buying account.

Meanwhile, OMG, the umbrella group for Omnicom media shops OMD and PHD, late last month won Porsche's $80 million global planning and buying account.

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