John Hancock, Hill Holliday Part Ways After 30-Plus Years

By Patrick Coffee 

Today AdAge broke the news that Manulife, the Canadian financial services company that owns and operates John Hancock in the U.S., has launched a global creative agency review.

Incumbent Hill Holliday will not participate.

We received the following statement from CEO Karen Kaplan.

We are deeply proud of the work we have done and the partnership we built with John Hancock over the last thirty-two years. Together, we have built an unparalleled brand, created groundbreaking campaigns that are recognized worldwide, have earned our industry’s highest awards over three decades, and continue to drive business results.

Most importantly, our ideas, from “Real Life. Real Answers.” to “Life Comes Next” and “A Different Approach,” mattered – not just to the business, but to the consumer and the culture as a whole.

We are grateful for the opportunity to have had this journey together, and we wish the John Hancock team every success as we move forward on different paths. We look forward to building new relationships and creating influential work that matters with a new partner in this category.

As noted in Kaplan’s quote, the account had been with the Boston agency since 1985. Its last campaign “A Different Approach” debuted last September and highlighted such milestones as gay marriage and women in business leadership roles.

“We are working to establish an agency structure that enables brand integration, innovation and growth across our global enterprise,” wrote a Manulife representative. “As part of this effort, we are conducting a search for a lead global agency and reviewing options to ensure we select the best partner for our business.”

The specific reasons for the review are not clear, though the client did name Gretchen Garrigues as its new CMO last August.

According to the Age writeup, the company will most likely choose more than one agency on a regional basis.