Esurance has split its media planning and buying responsibilities between Starcom and incumbent Havas Media, following a review.
Starcom, a Publicis Groupe agency, will join the brand's roster in the lead role on strategic media planning for TV, radio, out-of-home, print and digital. Those responsibilities were previously handled in-house.
Starcom has also taken on media buying chores for Esurance's general advertising in TV, radio and out-of-home. Havas, the incumbent on the account, previously handled buying for TV and radio. Out-of-home was handled in-house.
Havas Media, formerly MPG, has been on the account since 2005. The agency will retain planning and buying responsibilities for the brand's direct-response marketing, which includes work in TV, radio and print.
Esurance will continue to handle its own digital buying, as well as some tactical digital planning. The other finalists in the review could not be immediately ascertained.
“We’re pleased to work with two world-class agencies that offer tremendous planning and buying expertise that will help us build on our marketing successes moving forward,” said Darren Howard, Esurance's vp of marketing. "Adding Starcom as our partner for general planning and buying will help ensure that we are effectively reaching self-directed insurance customers in new and more creative ways.”
Esurance spent $191 million across media in 2012, up from only $98 million in 2011, according to estimates from Kantar. The majority of that spike came from an increase in television spending, which rose to $162 million in 2012 from $58 million in 2011.
Starcom also handles planning and buying for Allstate, which said in May 2011 that it would buy Esurance, a competitor that sells insurance directly to consumers online. Esurance also moved its lead creative responsibilities to Allstate lead creative agency Leo Burnett, following a review that year. Leo Burnett, also a Publicis Groupe agency, won the account from San Francisco agency Duncan/Channon.
Starcom and Leo Burnett are both headquartered in Chicago, where Allstate is also based.