The Prudential is on the verge of switching its 11.5m account from Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy to Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO.
Sources inside the UK’s biggest life assurer say that despite claims from senior managers that the account will go to a full pitch, it will be handed to AMV at the end of the week.
Senior managers saw credentials from four agencies before Christmas: Ogilvy & Mather, which handles Eagle Star, HSBC and Woolwich Building Society; BMP DDB Needham, which handles advertising for Alliance and Leicester; J. Walter Thompson, which handles Barclays Bank and Legal & General; and M&C Saatchi which has PPP Healthcare.
However, sources say that senior Prudential bosses were at AMV on Tuesday and intend to hand it the account. MMHL was told by the Prudential that it would receive a brief from the company in the new year for a full blown pitch.
It is understood no pitch brief has been written, or budget set. “Any brief for AMV will have to be verbal,” says another company source.
Last year, Prudential UK’s head of marketing communications, Mike Tyldesley, ended speculation about the account by confirming that it was reviewing (MW December 1 1995). Prudential managing director Keith Beddell-Pearce had previously denied that a review was taking place.
Mercury Communications has hired the Prudential’s head of advertising Dominic Owens as its new manager of marketing services. Owens, who joined the Prudential in 1992, has previously worked with Bartle Bogle Hegarty, AMV and Butterfield Day Devito Hockney. He will have responsibility for all Mercury’s advertising, brand management and corporate image and report to Mercury’s marketing director Simon Esberger.