BBDO New York Wins Insurance Giant Humana

By Patrick Coffee 

America’s fourth largest health insurance company Humana picked BBDO New York as its lead creative agency after a four-month review.

The client was acquired by the third largest U.S. insurer, Aetna, for $34.1 billion in July amid what The Wall Street Journal calls “consolidation momentum in the health-insurance industry.” Earlier this month, the new would-be parent company added four different lobbying firms to the two already on its roster in order to help ensure that the deal can withstand a bit of scrutiny from the Department of Justice.

Humana’s last holding company-wide review started in February 2010 and ended with a win for the Omnicom Group as the organization looked to “achieve significant cost savings by consolidating its advertising and marketing.” Rapp then handled the creative part of the account, but Humana reached outside the Omnicom circle for this review, which began in March. Sources name FCB Chicago and The Martin Agency as the other two finalists.

A client spokesperson positions the win as another Omnicom consolidation, writing:

“BBDO joins fellow Omnicom Network partners and incumbent Humana agencies PHD and GMR Marketing in helping to advance the brand and the business.”

It’s also the latest new healthcare account for BBDO, which picked up some Bayer brands and CVS last year (the former after another massive corporate merger, that of Bayer and Merck).

When news of the review went live in April, consultancy SRI said the client wanted “an agency with digital at the core of its operations,” anticipating the same shift away from print and TV as researchers in every other industry.

Humana spent around $80 million in media last year, and the account is valued at $6 million in revenue.

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