Nationwide Keeps Universal McCann for Creative

Nationwide has opted to stay with incumbent media shop Universal McCann, a unit of Interpublic Group, after a seven-month review, the client confirmed today.

The insurance company spent $210 million in major measured media in 2008, according to Nielsen.

MediaCom, owned by WPP, was the other finalist for the business.

In addition to UM’s previous media buying duties, which included national and spot TV and radio, Nationwide said UM would now also handle print and out-of-home media. McKinney, the client’s creative agency, will continue to handle media planning.

“Periodically we review the work of all of our agencies to ensure that we are being as efficient and effective as possible in optimizing our strategic resources,” said Jennifer Hanley, senior vice president of marketing services for Nationwide. “In this process, UM confirmed that they continue to be the right fit for Nationwide’s media buying needs. We look forward to building on the good work UM has done in the past to help us reach consumers with messages about the personalized On Your Side service Nationwide offers customers.”
“We are thrilled that Nationwide has chosen to continue our partnership and has, in fact, increased our responsibilities,” said Jacki Kelley, UM North American president. “We look forward to continuing our long-term relationship and working with McKinney to provide Nationwide with more than they expected, delivering surprising results,”

The client launched parallel creative and media reviews in late December.

In May, Nationwide awarded the creative business to Durham, N.C.-based independent McKinney. Interpublic’s TM Advertising had been the incumbent.

It could not be determined which shops had been eliminated earlier from the competition. ABA Consulting, Dallas, oversaw the review process.

UM has been on a roll of late, adding several pieces of national business, including Charles Schwab’s $100 million account  just yesterday, BMW in June and Dyson in May.

Nielsen Business Media