O&M loses 4.5m Bupa account

Bupa, the private healthcare insurer, is seeking separate creative, media and direct marketing agencies for its 4.5m account after splitting with full-service incumbent Ogilvy & Mather.

The move ends Bupa’s six-year relationship with O&M, which provided an integrated service with MindShare buying media and OgilvyOne handling direct marketing. A spokeswoman says management changes have led to a number of the agency’s functions being taken in-house, including brand development and business strategy.

The company says it no longer needs a full-service agency and it has shortlisted a roster of agencies for the creative, media and direct marketing work. The spokeswoman refuses to reveal which agencies are being briefed.

There has been speculation about a troubled relationship between O&M and Bupa for some time. Bupa retained O&M following a review earlier this year, after which it kept the “You’re amazing” theme for its TV ads.

Bupa has undergone a number of changes to its marketing department since the departure of marketing director Bruce Tranter last year. He was replaced by Pat Stafford and last week, Pontin’s marketing chief Simon Sheard was hired as brand director. Earlier this year, Howard Beveridge and Eileen Folan were handed senior marketing roles following a restructure of the company into five business units.

Bupa has appointed Dean Cowley, previously of mobile phone network One-2-One, as head of sales and marketing for the Care Services division.

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