Former Banking Exec Named Allstate Chief Marketing Officer

Sanjay Gupta, Most Recently Ally Financial CMO, Heads to Auto Insurer

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Allstate Corp. named a veteran of Ally Financial Inc. and Bank of America Corp. as its chief marketing officer, a crucial role as the auto insurance industry's advertising war shows no sign of letting up, reports Crain's Chicago Business.

Sanjay Gupta, most recently chief marketer for Ally Financial, the former auto lending arm of General Motors Co., will start Sept. 1 as Allstate executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He succeeds Mark LaNeve, who left Allstate in February after launching the insurer's acclaimed "Mayhem" ad campaign, featuring actor Dean Winters as the comical embodiment of all that can go wrong and why a reliable insurer is worth paying more for.

Mr. Gupta will report to Allstate CEO Tom Wilson.

"His successful experience in branded consumer financial services, data analytics and electronic commerce will support increased customer loyalty, innovative product offerings and profitable growth in all of our businesses," Mr. Wilson said in a release.

Most advertising decisions are overseen by Senior VP-Marketing Lisa Cochrane, who has broad authority over the insurer's marketing campaigns and ad, media and PR agency relationships. Allstate's creative agency is Leo Burnett, while media is handled by Starcom.

Mr. LaNeve, who led GM's marketing before joining Allstate, said at the time that he left Allstate to be closer to his family in the Detroit area and help care for his autistic sons. In late July he was named chief operating officer for Ford Motor Co.'s ad agency, Team Detroit.

Mr. Gupta led Detroit-based Ally's rebranding initiative after the former GMAC Corp. was renamed in 2010. Before joining Ally in 2008, he was senior vice president for global consumer and small business marketing at Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America, where he worked for seven years. Led by online auto insurers Geico and Progressive Corp., advertising in the industry has grown to about $4 billion annually. Northbrook-based Allstate has increased its marketing budget this year to fuel growth at recently acquired online insurer Esurance.

Ad Age contributed to this article.

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