Northwestern Mutual Picks a New Lead Agency

GSD&M succeeds Olson on the business

Northwestern Mutual has found a new lead creative agency.

GSD&M landed the assignment after a review. The company spent nearly $50 million in media last year, according to Kantar Media.

Four other shops vied for the account. Sources identified the others as mcgarrybowen in Chicago, Deutsch in New York, TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York and The Distillery Project in Chicago.

The winner succeeds Olson, an independent in Minneapolis that did not defend. Olson has handled the account since 2010.

GSD&M referred calls to Northwestern Mutual, which confirmed the selection. The new agency's first work is expected in late 2014 amid the runup to college football's Rose Bowl, which Northwestern Mutual sponsors. The game is on New Year's Day.

In a statement, GSD&M CEO Duff Stewart said the insurance company has a "rich heritage and … defining purpose that makes a real difference in people's lives."

Media responsibilities were not in play and remain at Publicis Groupe's Spark in Chicago. Conrad York, vp of marketing at Northwestern Mutual, led the search.