Nationwide Reviews $250 Million Media Agency Business

CMO Says It's Been Four Years Since Last Review and "A Lot Has Changed" in Media Since Then

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Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co has put its $250 million media business into review as it amplifies its media spend.

Nationwide Chief Marketing Officer Matt Jauchius told Ad Age: "It's been four years since Nationwide [sent out a request for proposal for] media, and a lot has changed over that time period. Media is an area where working dollars can be amplified tremendously based on how and where the buys are placed."

"We are very satisfied with our current partners, but we owe it to ourselves to continually push and test for the best work and most innovative thinking," he added. "We are open to a variety of incumbent and new agencies, and we reserve the right to consolidate all traditional and digital planning and buying -- or to keep it piecemeal as we deem appropriate."

When the Columbus, Ohio-based insurer last reviewed media and creative in 2009, it held onto both of its incumbents: Interpublic Group media agency UM and ad shop McKinney, which was acquired by Cheil last summer. The company continues to work with both shops. Creative is not part of the current review, but it's less clear whether the review will affect the company's relationship with its digital media agency Engauge.

Incumbent agencies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Regardless of how the review plays out, Mr. Jauchius said that the company plans to increase media spend in 2013 in a move "consistent with the advertising arms race in the P&C insurance category."

The company spent $250.8 million on U.S. measured media in 2012, which is on par with the $251.8 million it spent in 2011, according to Kantar Media.

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