Four hunt 10m assurance brief

Wesleyan Financial Services, the mutual assurance society which bought Clerical Medical’s ProVision direct sales arm at the beginning of this year, is seeking an agency to develop a 10m brand-building campaign.

The society is understood to have shortlisted four agencies including the two incumbents BMP4, inherited after the ProVision acquisition, and Wesleyan’s agency DMB&B Financial. Ad agency BDDH and design specialists Wolff Olins are also understood to be planning to pitch. The spend will be split, with 6m going above the line and 4m below.

Wesleyan’s head of marketing Jon Bodenham says he is looking for an agency to develop a brand proposition for the newly enlarged group, and then to execute it. He says: “We need agencies with strong planning and branding experience to represent the brand now that we are more of a group. We have not done serious advertising outside our existing consumers.”

Clerical Medical sold ProVision, a specialist financial planning service, to allow it to concentrate on its independent financial adviser activities. Currently based in Bristol, ProVision will relocate to Wesleyan’s head office in Birmingham, with a small number of redundancies among its 250 staff. Clerical Medical, which is part of the Halifax Group, sold the business for an undisclosed sum, though some analysts believe Wesleyan may have picked it up for as little as 100,000.

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