Aviva reshuffles Norwich Union marketing after RAC acquisition

Aviva is restructuring the marketing department of its Norwich Union brand following the decision to merge the division with the insurance arm of newly acquired RAC.

The combined business unit will be known as Norwich Union General Insurance (NUGI). It is the second wholesale restructure of the department in less than a year.

Colin Webb, NUGI’s director of marketing, has also confirmed that a review of its &£60m media planning and buying account will begin in autumn (MW March 17). Norwich Union’s media account is held by Brand Connection, while the RAC’s media planning and buying is carried out by Vizeum and All Response Media. It follows the &£1.1bn takeover of the RAC by Aviva, the country’s largest insurance provider, in March.

Webb denies the changes will result in job losses and says the move will enable growth in new business areas such as pay-as-you-drive insurance, which charges customers per mile driven, and is piloting at the moment. RAC marketers will be relocated to the insurer’s Norwich head office.

Webb joined the company from Boots late last year (MW November 25, 2004) following a restructure of its marketing department in September, reducing the overall tally of marketers from 390 to 310 (MW September 30, 2004).

The current marketing structure is based on communication and functional channels, something Webb says does not work well enough in a multi-brand organisation.

He is introducing three brand and product teams to work across Norwich Union Direct’s motor insurance, home and travel insurance and the RAC brand.

Web marketing experts and marketing services personnel, who will oversee the selection and management of creative and media agencies, will work “horizontally” across the three channels.

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