Insurance giants set up marketing joint venture

Insurance company Churchill is jointly to oversee the Prudential’s general insurance marketing when the two companies set up a combined marketing committee in January, following a deal completed last week.

Prudential marketing director Roger Ramsden, who joined the company last month, will have a place on the committee along with Marie-Ange Bouchard, marketing director of Churchill. It is not yet known which, if either, of the marketers will have more responsibility for Prudential’s insurance marketing.

The two companies will be looking at advertising agency arrangements over the coming weeks, although an official review has not been called.

TBWA/GGT handles below-the-line work for Prudential’s insurance division after winning the &£20m direct marketing business in July, while Churchill’s creative work is handled in-house. Abbot Mead Vickers.BBDO handles above-the-line advertising for Prudential’s insurance division.

Through the deal with Churchill’s owner Winterthur, Prudential’s branded motor and household insurance products will be sold through Churchill’s distribution channels. Churchill will also be able to cross-sell its products to Prudential’s 4 million savings customers.

The move is part of Prudential’s plans to radically shake up its marketing. The company says it will increase its marketing budget from &£5m to &£25m next year. AMV.BBDO holds the whole above-the-line account.

Ramsden, who has been in the job for a week, is meeting Prudential’s roster agencies and looking at the marketing structure of the business.

Prudential’s general insurance business reported a pre-tax operating profit of &£33m for 2000. It is the fifth-largest household insurer with 1.6 million customers and six per cent of the market.

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