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Esurance Taps Leo Burnett

Agency works for insurer's new parent
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Esurance selected Leo Burnett in Chicago as agency of record after a review that also included Deutsch/L.A. and San Francisco shops Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Venables Bell & Partners, and Duncan/Channon, the incumbent.

The Publicis Groupe agency already works for Esurance’s new corporate parent, Allstate Corp., which is in the process of acquiring the San Francisco direct-to-consumer auto insurer from White Mountains Insurance Group. The two companies signed a definitive pact in May; while the deal is still subject to regulatory and other closing conditions, it's expected to be completed this fall.

Following the completion of the acquisition, Allstate will keep Esurance and Allstate as separate brands that target distinct customer segments with different value propositions.

Esurance focuses on consumers who shop for insurance online. The company, which positions itself as being more environmentally friendly than its competitors, originally used ads featuring an animated, pink-haired female spy, Erin Esurance, who posed as an auto insurance agent. In 2009, Duncan/Channon was selected to rebrand Esurance, and the agency introduced "techies" and "feelies," company programmers and phone reps who squabble over which side serves customers best. The company’s positioning line has been, "Technology when you want it. People when you don’t."