Future looks bleak for Abbey general insurance launch

The future of Abbey National General Insurance marketing director Elaine Robinson, and the 20m ad campaign to promote its new direct insurance arm, are in doubt after the bank’s decision to scrap its launch plans.

Abbey National’s main board made an eleventh-hour decision to ditch the launch of standalone brand Future and fold the joint venture with Commercial Union into the Abbey National brand.

Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters is understood to have shot ads for Future’s launch, due to air on November 4. The new brand is understood to have cost the bank 15m to develop.

Abbey National marketing director Ambrose McGinn says ANGI’s plans to sell general insurance direct will be brought into the main bank. Though Abbey National will use personnel and other resources developed for ANGI, it will distribute general insurance products through Abbey National Direct. The direct division sells savings and mortgages.

McGinn will be responsible for overall marketing. Robinson joined Abbey National in July last year (MW July 21 1995). She had previously been marketing director for drinks company Gaymer.

McGinn would not comment on what would happen to Robinson or the marketing team. However, Abbey National says no marketing redundancies will be made.

McGinn says he will review ad arrangements for insurance after it is folded into his department. ANGI’s media buying is with Zenith. Abbey National’s above-the-line brief is handled by EURO RSCG Wnek Gosper and Barker & Ralston; media buying is through TMD Carat.

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