Insurance Agents Bypass Southern Candidates

ATLANTA The Independent Insurance Agency and Brokers of America has enlisted Publicis in the West to promote its Trusted Choice brand, the client confirmed.

The Seattle shop was a late entrant into a review that had been limited to Southeastern shops, according to Jeff Myers, vice president of communications for the Alexandria, Va.-based trade association.

Myers’ search had led him to Florida’s The Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee and The Dalton Agency in Jacksonville; and Atlanta’s Austin Kelley Advertising, an Interpublic Group shop, and independent The Morrison Agency. Myers was also considering Baltimore’s The Campbell Group and Carton Donofrio Partners. Incumbent Williams Whittle Advertising in Alexandria defended.

“It’s not often a startup gets to work with a major international ad agency,” Myers said. “I feel fortunate.”

Myers said the IIABA launched Trusted Choice as a brand name about five years ago. The association wants to target consumers and independent agents.

Consumer research found that the IIABA logo, while highly respected on Capitol Hill and in the industry, was not recognizable to consumers.

A consumer campaign aimed at educated adults over 35 is expected to break in the first quarter on cable stations. Print plans are undetermined. Billings are just under $2 million.