AXA Group is moving its ad business out of TBWA/London, ahead of a brand-building campaign this year.
The review has been triggered by last month’s arrival of John Bines as the company’s first group marketing and services director (MW December 13). Bines was drafted in from Royal & SunAlliance to create a unified brand strategy for the AXA Sun Life and AXA Insurance brands.
The company denies the move has anything to do with TBWA/ London going for the Prudential account. Last year, AXA spent only £560,000 according to AC Nielsen.
TBWA/London has been working on AXA’s sponsorship of the FA Cup and AXA is deciding whether it will sign up to the new FA sponsorship scheme, FA Partners.
But a spokesman for AXA says the company will continue advertising even if this scheme does not go ahead.
He says: “AXA is a big insurer and it needs to stretch its brand. It needs support from an agency to achieve its objectives.”
AXA’s direct marketing agencies are unaffected by the review. AXA Insurance appointed Hubbard Hiwaizi McCann to its £12m direct marketing account last month, and Proximity holds the £10m direct marketing work for AXA Sun Life.
Last month, AXA Insurance announced that it is searching for a marketing director, two years after the departure of Simon Rhodes.