The Hartford picks Citigate Albert Frank for UK launch

The Hartford Financial Services Group, one of the largest investment and insurance companies in the US, has appointed Citigate Albert Frank (CAF) to handle the UK launch of its brand.

The Hartford Europe managing director of marketing John Enos started looking for an agency in January (MW January 13). CAF won the business after pitching against other specialist financial ad agencies. The budget for the UK launch is unknown. In the US, The Hartford increased its spend from $15m (£7.8m) in 2003 to more than $20m (£10.4m) in the first nine months of 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

In January, The Hartford switched its North American account from long-term creative agency Arnold Worldwide to the Interpublic Group’s Campbell Mithun Esty after a pitch. Arnold’s sister company MPG/Arnold continues to handle media buying.

The first product to be launched by The Hartford in the UK will be a unit-linked investment bond, sold only through intermediaries. The Hartford is a leading provider of retirement savings products and unit-linked investment products in the US, and is the most popular provider in the sector in Japan, only four years after its launch in the Far East.

CAF will initially be running a business-to-business campaign targeting independent financial advisers and intermediaries, which will break in financial trade publications on March 17. The campaign highlights what The Hartford sees as its core brand values: longevity, financial strength and its award-winning service proposition.

Although the company’s stag logo is a well-known US icon, the company has not previously been active in Europe. It has set up an office in London’s Canary Wharf and one in Dublin.

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