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Kemper Insurance Looks at 8

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Agency Search Follows Company's Split With Chicago PR Shop
CHICAGO--Executives from the Kemper Insurance Companies will visit the offices of eight Midwest shops that the company is considering for its $10-12 million advertising account.
The Long Grove, Ill., client is looking for a full-service agency to handle creative, media and planning. Incumbent agency Kemper Lesnik Communications, primarily known as a public relations firm, withdrew in the preliminary stages of the review. The Chicago PR shop, which is not related to the insurer, had contracted outside for some of the creative as well as for media buying.
Chicago consultant Jones-Lundin Associates is handling the review.
The company will narrow its review to three finalists and make a decision by the end of May, said client representative Jeff Moder.
The search was prompted in part by the arrival of Joel Borgardt, a new vice president of marketing who started with the client early this year.
"We're just taking a step back and seeing where we are," Moder said.
Kemper Insurance introduced a new logo in November, but that image was not accompanied by an advertising campaign of any size, Moder said.
Kemper Lesnik produced some print and television, which ran in 1999, but the new shop will be expected to produce a fully integrated campaign, Moder said.
"We want to compete in our industry and we have a limited budget compared to others in the industry," Moder said. "We just want to get more bang for our buck."
The Kemper Insurance Companies spent $6.6 million advertising its insurance products last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Competitors such as American Family and Liberty Mutual outspent Kemper by two to three times, according to CMR figures.
Kemper Insurance offers personal, risk management, and commercial property/-casualty insurance products and services through Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company and other subsidiaries.
Kemper's Commercial Lines Group provides workers' compensation and property coverage lines, and the Personal Lines Group offers auto and homeowners insurance. The Risk Management Group offers casualty and related services to large businesses. Formed in 1912, the international firm had 1998 total revenues of $4.4 billion. K