Carmichael Lynch Adds Drive Insurance

BOSTON Carmichael Lynch has added the advertising account of Drive Insurance, the agency said.

Carmichael, a Minneapolis-based unit of Interpublic Group, succeeds WPP Group’s Grey in New York on the Drive business.

Drive is the name for Progressive Insurance products sold by independent agents and brokers. Progressive products sold directly to consumers are marketed under the Progressive Direct brand. Havas’ Arnold in Boston added the $150 million Progressive Direct assignment from incumbent Doner this summer following a review [Adweek Online, Sept. 15]. Carmichael did not compete in that contest, and Arnold did not pitch Drive. (The other Drive contenders could not be immediately determined.)

Progressive, the nation’s third-largest insurer overall, launched the Drive brand in 2004. Billings were not disclosed, but Progressive spent about $20 million in measured media on Drive in the first nine months of 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Other clients represented by Carmichael include A.G. Edwards, American Standard, Porsche, Harley-Davidson, Jack Link’s and Northwest Airlines.

The Drive win adds some momentum to what had been a quiet agency new-business performance in 2006.