Aviva set to review £60m merged media business

Aviva, the financial services giant which has launched a £1.1bn agreed takeover for motoring organisation the RAC, is planning to put its combined media planning and buying business, worth more than £60m, up for review.

Brand Connection handles the £47m media planning and buying account for Norwich Union, Aviva’s main UK subsidiary. The RAC’s £11.7m media is through Vizeum.

The review will begin if the RAC bid succeeds.

Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO handles advertising for Norwich Union, while Partners Andrews Aldridge is the RAC’s ad agency.

Norwich Union Insurance sales and marketing director Bridget McIntyre says that while Aviva will be looking to achieve economies of scale by combining the two media budgets, it also plans to increase the ad spend on the RAC brand as it seeks to increase the number of RAC roadside assistance customers who buy its insurance products.

McIntyre says that if the takeover goes through, there will be “more budget and more people” put behind marketing for the RAC.

However, Aviva has said that 1,700 jobs will be cut from the combined group’s back-office operations, 900 through redundancy and 800 call-centre positions that will be transferred abroad. But the group has dismissed as “pure speculation” suggestions that marketing and strategy director Stewart Porter and head of brand and commercial David Lewis could see their jobs threatened by the merger.