Despite not defending in an extended review, The Kaplan Thaler Group is poised to keep a hand in crafting ads for long-time client Aflac, according to sources.
The Publicis Groupe agency in New York, which created the brand's iconic spokesduck, had parted with the supplemental insurance giant in December after Jeff Charney, Aflac's CMO, put the account into review.
Charney has said he was consolidating the company's business at Publicis agencies, with Digitas in the lead and MediaVest handling traditional media planning and buying activities. The latter replaces 20-year Aflac incumbent Fitzgerald & Co., an IPG agency, which did not participate in the competition.
Even so, the bond is so strong between Aflac and Kaplan Thaler, the agency is now expected to continue fashioning creative under the guidance of Digitas, which would adapt the ideas for the digital marketplace, per sources. The French holding company's Fallon unit pitched the business with Digitas but did not make the cut.
Agency and Aflac officials either declined comment or could not be reached.
Aflac spent about $60 million last year in major measured media, according to Nielsen.