MetLife Picks CP+B

MetLife has confirmed its selection of MDC’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky to handle lead creative duties on the company’s consumer-directed advertising efforts after a review.

Sources identified the other finalists as Havas’ Euro RSCG in New York and the incumbent, WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam in New York.

Independent Venables Bell & Partners in San Francisco also was a contender but exited in August, after a work session with client executives, said sources. Final presentations took place at the client’s headquarters in New York last month.

MetLife’s major media spending — including outlays for both consumer and business-to-business ads — exceeded $56 million last year, down from nearly $63 million in 2008, according to Nielsen. The total in the first seven months of 2010 was $35 million.

Not in play were digital duties handled by WPP’s Neo@Ogilvy in New York, b-to-b efforts, at independent Bernstein-Rein in Kansas City, Mo., or media duties, at WPP’s MEC in New York.

Crispin’s Miami and Boulder, Colo., offices will share duties on the creative account. The shop’s creative concepts for the pitch came out of Miami, said sources. The agency declined to comment.

In a statement, MetLife said that it chose Crispin because “their thinking, creativity and media agnostic methodology are clearly the best fit for MetLife’s ambition to make insurance coverage an imperative for American consumers.”

Source Martin in New York managed the review.