We Hear: Nationwide to Launch Creative Review

By Patrick Coffee 

Today sources tell us that Nationwide, the insurance giant whose Ogilvy Super Bowl ad led to more controversy than any other campaign in recent memory, will soon announce a creative agency review.

A spokesperson gave us this statement:

“Nationwide works with multiple agencies to support our marketing and advertising needs. We routinely evaluate these partnerships to ensure we have mutually beneficial relationships, and are aligned with our strategic objectives.”


The review would not come as a complete surprise. In May, Nationwide named a new CMO–a move which often precedes a “reevaluation” of all relevant relationships.

Interestingly, sources also claim that Ogilvy & Mather is currently working on its follow-up campaign for the client, implying that a pending review may not affect the relationship started last June to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ogilvy’s own “Nationwide Is On Your Side” tagline.

After the tragic “Boy” inspired polarized responses on social media and various blogs during the Super Bowl, Nationwide CMO Matt Jauchius told The Wall Street Journal that “We absolutely knew that there was going to be a reaction where you had strong feelings both ways” and that the company, if given a chance, would run the same ad again. Two months later, he was gone as company veteran Terrance Williams stepped up to take his place.

McKinney won the Nationwide business, which had been with TM, in May 2009 and went on to create a series of campaigns culminating in the client’s other Super Bowl spot, which starred comedienne Mindy Kaling.

The client last changed its agency lineup in January, when it moved Publicis Group’s Moxie from retainer to project-based work; the agency subsequently shuttered its Columbus, Ohio office.

McKinney deferred to Nationwide when contacted regarding this post.