UPDATE 2pm: NRMA has handed creative duties for its stable of brands, including NMRA and CGU, to The Monkeys. AdNews revealed earlier today that NRMA was preparing to drop M&C Saatchi as its creative agency, to hand the account to The Monkeys.
M&C has held the account since April 2014 when it won back the account from TBWA. It previously held the account for several years until 2010.
AdNews understands there wasn’t a pitch for the business and the decision is being announced internally today by IAG CMO Brent Smart.
In a statement sent to AdNews, IAG confirmed there was no pitch for the work and stated: "Brent’s experience agency side, coupled with The Monkeys’ excellent reputation and track record, means there has not been a competitive pitch process for this work. We strongly believe The Monkeys have the right creative pedigree, strategic vision and cultural fit.
"This appointment means we have made the decision not to renew our contract with our incumbent partner M&C Saatchi. We have valued the work we achieved together during our 3 year partnership, but feel now is the time to move on."
CHE Proximity has also been added to the IAG roster working below the line advertising for the brand, including its customer and addressable channels.
M&C Saatchi CEO Jaimes Leggett says: "M&C Saatchi has had a long and successful relationship with IAG. We’ve created award winning and impactful work. Work we're fiercely proud of. We're sad to see the business go but wish the team all the best on their next stage of the journey."
Smart joined IAG from Saatchi New York and has spent 20 years in agency roles. He grew up in M&C and told AdNews earlier this year that he had no immediate plans to change his creative agency relationships after becoming CMO.
M&C introduced the NRMA Made Better campaign in September 2014, however, a number of sources have told AdNews that Smart, who took on the CMO post in February, has not been happy with the creative work. It’s also understood that NRMA has recently pulled a planned multimillion-dollar media spend and is delaying the launch of a major campaign until next year.
A number of redundancies are expected at M&C as a result of the business moving.
IAG continues to work with Mindshare.
IAG Chief marketing officer Brent Smart says: "We have huge creative aspirations for our brands and The Monkeys are the right partner to help us realise those aspirations. We just love their obsession with the work, believe in their team’s strategic vision and feel there is a real cultural fit with our new marketing team. I would also like to recognise the contribution M&C Saatchi has made to our business over the past three years and thank their team for their hard work and dedication, we wish them nothing but success.”
Mark Green, Group CEO of The Monkeys, says: “We love working with ambitious clients and Brent and the team at IAG will be great partners. The team at The Monkeys cannot wait to get started.”
At IAG, Smart leads group-wide marketing, brand and portfolio strategy, media buying, direct digital media and search, marketing operations and marketing innovation.
Read a profile interview with Smart in the July issue of AdNews, where he talks about his vision for IAG’s insurance brands, the dynamic of moving from agency to client side roles and the importance of brands having audacious goals. You can get a digital copy here.
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