Nationwide Creative Goes to McKinney

Independent agency McKinney in Durham, N.C., has won creative duties on Nationwide Insurance’s ad account, sources said.

Nationwide, which last year spent more than $210 million in major measured media, launched the review in December.

Competing against McKinney for the business were: MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners in New York; Interpublic Group’s Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis; and the incumbent, IPG’s TM Advertising in Dallas.
A McKinney representative declined comment as did a rep at Nationwide. Sources said the decision has been shared with the contenders and its official release is imminent.
TM, which has handled Nationwide’s creative chores since 1998, said in a statement:
“When we began working for Nationwide 10 years ago, they were a relatively unknown regional company operating in a handful of states. We launched ‘Life comes at you fast’ five years ago and it not only became one of the most recognized, awarded and copied campaigns in the category, it helped Nationwide grow to become one of the top five insurance companies in America, vaulted them into the Fortune 100 and helped make them a national player. 
“We understand that changes in client organizations often mean changes in agency relationships. We are extremely proud of the award-winning and business-driving work that we’ve done for Nationwide and proud of the people here at TM Advertising who have worked so hard to create it. We’re confident that we will be back in the category very quickly and we are aggressively pursuing those opportunities.”

TM recently unveiled new work for the client that used testimonials by Nationwide employees.
The finalists had emerged from a field of about a half-dozen shops that also included IPG’s Deutsch in New York and Omnicom Group’s GSD&M Idea City in Austin, Texas, said sources.

The contest did not include direct marketing duties, which remain at WPP Group’s Wunderman in New York.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide is conducting a separate, parallel review of media duties. The status of that contest was not immediately available. IPG’s Universal McCann in New York is the incumbent.

This marks McKinney’s second big win in about six months, following its capture of the $40 million Sherwin-Williams account in Q4 ’08.

McKinney, which employs approximately 200 staffers, bought itself back from French holding company Havas 11 months ago.