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MassMutual Moves to Mullen

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BOSTON Mullen today said it was chosen by MassMutual Financial Group following a review to handle the client's $15 million advertising account, including creative development, direct response and interactive chores.

The Wenham, Mass.-based Interpublic Group shop's mediaHub unit picks up MassMutual media planning and buying.

"Mullen demonstrated a thorough understanding of our business and a comprehensive approach to marketing communications across all media and disciplines," said Jeff Sawyer, MassMutual's vice president of national advertising and branding, in a statement.

In a review for the account that finished in February 2001, Lowe unseated two-decade incumbent Bozell, an IPG shop in New York. The other finalists were Mullen and Havas' Euro RSCG in New York.

Euro RSCG works on MassMutual's Oppenheimer Funds, but that business was not in play.

"We'll bring every resource we have to bear to help MassMutual grow and prosper," said Mullen CEO Joe Grimaldi.

Mullen's client portfolio includes General Motors, XM Satellite Radio, Wachovia, LendingTree and T.J. Maxx.

Insurance giant MassMutual services 13 million clients and has more than $395 billion in assets under management.

Other contenders in the review won by Mullen were not disclosed.

Key client decision makers included Victor Lipman and Jeff Sawyer, co-vice presidents of corporate communications. Other senior company officials, such as svp, chief administrative officer Elaine Sarsynski, also took part in the process. Sarsynski was named to that new post in September; from 1981-98, she worked at Aetna.

At the time the review began in January, the client said it was part of a routine evaluation of vendor services.

This marks the second financial-services account win for a New England IPG shop in as many weeks, following Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos' selection last Friday to handle the estimated $20 million Smith Barney business [Adweek Online, June 9].