OMD wins £80m Norwich Union and RAC accounts

OMD UK has scooped insurance giant Aviva’s £80m Norwich Union and RAC combined media planning and buying business from incumbents Brand Connection and Vizeum. The agency won the business following a competitive pitch that also included Mediaed

OMD UK has scooped insurance giant Aviva’s &£80m Norwich Union and RAC combined media planning and buying business from incumbents Brand Connection and Vizeum. The agency won the business following a competitive pitch that also included Mediaedge:CIA.

Brand Connection has held the Norwich Union account for 21 years, while Vizeum handled motoring organisation RAC’s media planning and buying. Both are believed to have been eliminated at an earlier stage. Aviva stated its intention to review media following its &£1.1bn takeover of the RAC in March. It later moved the motoring organisation’s creative account to Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, which already held the Norwich Union account (MW June 9).

Norwich Union General Insurance director of marketing Colin Webb confirms the appointment and adds that the combined advertising budget will rise by about one-third next year.

Norwich Union’s budget is expected to rise from &£47m to &£60m, while the RAC’s spend will double from &£11.7m, to be split between the motoring brand’s breakdown and insurance arms.

Brand Connection is expected to continue working with Aviva in the short term, having already started media planning for the first quarter in 2006.

The takeover led to several senior marketing casualties, including the departure this summer of RAC commercial director David Lewis (MW July 7). Norwich Union General Insurance also restructured its marketing department (MW August 11). Aviva is said to be raising the RAC brand’s marketing spend to expand its customer base by more than 1 million over the next three years.

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