CNA in Talks With 4 Agencies

CNA Insurance is talking to four shops about its creative and media accounts and expects to have a new agency in place by the end of the year, a company executive said.

The Chicago-based insurance company began its review earlier this fall, said Olga Levin, assistant vice president of corporate services. Other than confirming that there are four finalists, Levin declined to elaborate on the review.

The incumbent is Margeotes|Fertitta + Partners, New York, which is not defending the account, said president and CEO George Fertitta. CNA hired Margeotes two years ago to create a corporate-identity campaign.

CNA also works with MARC USA in Chicago, which does projects for some of the company’s smaller business units. MARC is not involved in the review.

While CNA spent about $10 million on measured media in 2001, spending through August of this year was just $7,000, according to CMR. The assignment could involve a lot of collateral work, sources said.

Margeotes’ last work for the insurer was a commercial that ran on cable after the Sept. 11 tragedies. The spot’s purpose was to assure insurance brokers and the business community that CNA was finan cially stable despite the attacks. CNA paid more than $450 million in claims related to the attacks, and posted a loss for that quarter a year ago of more than $300 million.

CNA’s tagline has been, “Insurance in touch with business.” The client was concentrating on its commercial-insurance business.

CNA is the country’s fourth-largest commercial-insurance writer, the ninth-largest property and casualty company, and the fifty-first-largest life insurer.

The company’s troubles predate Sept. 11, and include layoffs and restructurings. In 1999, a window from CNA’s building in Chi cago fell and killed a woman, leading to an $18 million settlement for her family.

The holding company Loews Corp., New York, owns almost 90 percent of CNA, according to Hoover’s Online.