Genworth Names Martin Lead Agency

ATLANTA Without a review, Genworth Financial has hired The Martin Agency to lead its advertising efforts, the shop said.

The account previously was held by Klamath Communications in New York, a division of WPP Group’s Landor Associates in New York. Klamath was formed last year to service the Genworth account and produced a $25 million ad campaign using tennis star Andre Agassi and his wife, Steffi Graf. The couple is under contract to Genworth through 2007 but the company said it has not decided how they will be used in future work.

Interpublic Group’s Martin resigned the AXA Financial business earlier this month to accept the Genworth account. Genworth’s billings were not disclosed, but the Richmond, Va.-based firm spent $14 million on advertising last year and $11 million through August 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. AXA’s spending had declined to $2.5 million during the first six months of this year.

Martin, also based in Richmond, will handle all consumer and trade advertising for Genworth. The first work from the shop is scheduled to appear early next year. Martin has done several projects for the company in the past year.

“We admire The Martin Agency’s work and we’ve already done some solid work together this year,” said Buzz Richmond, senior vice president of brand marketing for Genworth. “Through their project work, they’ve earned our trust and the right to be our lead agency.”

Genworth Financial is an insurance and investment products company that was owned by General Electric until last year. The company has more than 15 million customers and operations in 24 countries.

Genworth’s previous advertising has promoted its past connection with GE while trying to establish its own identity.