Media Agencies: Allstate Was A ‘waste Of Time’

Deloitte & Touche last week informed agencies that Allstate Corp. will not place its TV media buying business in review “at this time.”
Deloitte’s initial letter [Adweek, June 15] said Allstate “is considering decoupling its existing television media research and optimization service from its advertising agency and possibly outsourcing it to another.” At the time, incumbent Leo Burnett was not aware of the request for information, sources said.
Allstate in July stated it did not intend to shop the $35 million business. Rather, it was looking “at media optimization as a cost-saving opportunity.” Media executives, however, said Deloitte continued to suggest that the client had not decided to forego a review.
In last week’s letter to the 10 or so agencies contacted in June, Deloitte consultant Joshua Nardo thanked respondents and said his company will “use this evaluation to better understand the future of the advertising function within the marketplace.”
The letter also states, “results will be utilized only as an informational resource for our clients at this time.”
An Allstate representative confirmed the company would not hold a media review, saying the insurer is happy with Leo Burnett in Chicago.
While Northbrook, Ill.-based Allstate was initially open to conducting a media review that likely would have involved the client’s $35 million network buying account, sources said, the findings from the questionnaire swayed the client otherwise.
“What a waste of time,” said one miffed agency executive who answered the questionnaire. “Who would have responded knowing that it will lead nowhere?”
Another executive said he was disappointed because an evaluation in which optimizer audience measurement software was the criteria would have been an opportunity for his agency to test its capabilities.
Sources had said it was the first time in memory they had received a questionnaire where optimizers were a condition of selection.