Friends Prov. reviews £6m agency roster

Friends Provident is reviewing its brand positioning and is poised to appoint a roster of new agencies to handle its &£6m business.

It is understood that the life assurance company is being assisted by the Haystack Group. A shortlist of agencies has been drawn up to work on the brand review, and the agencies will receive a full brief over the next few weeks. Once a brand agency has been appointed, the company will start searching for advertising and direct marketing agencies.

Friends Provident is understood to have more than 20 agencies of record, as it has allowed every part of its business to commission its own work, but it is now looking to tidy up its advertising strategy.

Last year, its fund management arm Friends Ivory & Sime was rebranded as ISIS Asset Management.

The company has been pursuing an aggressive growth strategy since its demutualisation in 2001, buying the fund management and international operations of Royal & Sun-Alliance. It is also known to be developing new distribution strategies and has signed a distribution deal with Countrywide estate agents.

Like other insurance companies, Friends Provident has been hit hard by the stock market falls and has suffered bad press after cutting pay-outs on savings and pensions policies.

A spokeswoman for Friends Provident confirms that the company is refreshing its brand guidelines.

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