McCann walks out of 5m brief

BYLN: By Tom O’Sullivan

McCann-Erickson has resigned the 5m Friend’s Provident account after six years and has slammed the insurance company for failing to fully commit itself to consumer advertising.

Friend’s Provident has not run any corporate or product advertising this year. But the agency was due to pitch for a new project with Friend’s Provident’s direct marketing arm, Direct Channel, today (Wednesday).

It withdrew at the last moment in the hope of winning an alternative financial services client. Earlier this year McCann lost the 20m National Savings account to HHCL & Partners.

“You don’t take a decision to resign such an account without a great deal of evaluation,” says McCann chairman David Warden. “It was in the best interests of the agency and the client to part company.

“The biggest factor for us was being allowed to develop really creative strategies which would hit the target. The whole team felt it was in our longer term interest to find a new client with ideas which meet our own aspirations.”

Friend’s Provident says it will be reviewing the situation for 1996 before deciding whether to replace McCann-Erickson. It intends to hire an agency for the Direct Channel account within the next fortnight.

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