Contacts Outside Agencies; Arnold Worldwide Is Incumbent

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The financial services company the Hartford has been soliciting ideas from outside agencies in what could be a prelude to a review, according
to two agencies that have been contacted.

One executive familiar with the situation said five agencies are involved in a review and that no consultant is involved. Hartford's longtime agency is Arnold Worldwide, part of Havas.

A Hartford spokesman declined to comment on whether there's a review in the works.

'Effective' advertising
"The Hartford's advertising has been both provocative and effective over the past several years, and we continue to work with our agency to get their best creative work," the spokesman said.

Perhaps best-known for its logo featuring a stag, the Hartford spent more than $15 million in measured media in 2003, down by more than half from the year before, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Its recent advertising has focused heavily on mutual funds. In addition to life and business insurance, the 194-year-old company sells a variety of investment products.

An Arnold representative did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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