Standard Life hunts agency for demutualisation brief

Standard Life, Europe’s largest mutual life assurance company, has started talks with creative agencies about a campaign heralding its proposed demutualisation next year.

It is expected to put out to pitch a through-the-line brief focusing on its corporate brand rather than the four core companies in the Standard Life group. The core businesses are The Standard Life Assurance Company, Standard Life Bank, Standard Life Investments and Standard Life Healthcare.

The Edinburgh-based financial giant has stressed that its consumer &£10.7m account with The Leith Agency is not under threat.

A previous attempt to demutualise Standard Life in 2003 ended in failure. Three years earlier members voted decisively to remain mutual. In June last year, the company’s board announced that then group finance director John Hylands would lead the demutualisation project and several advisers were appointed. Ousted Marks & Spencer finance director Alison Reed joins Standard Life as group finance director in June. She was chosen in part for her public company experience.

The group’s recent advertising has used its “I like…” theme, which broke in 2003 with the “I like Standard Life” strapline. The Leith Agency worked on the proposition with The Value Creation Company, after holding onto the account in 2002.

The Leith Agency won the account in December 1997 from Faulds Advertising. The agency introduced the “Baby James” talking toddler ads.

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