Progressive Enlists Roth for Review

CHICAGO Progressive Insurance said it has hired consultancy Roth Associates to oversee a review of creative chores on its ad account.

Adweek Online first reported earlier today that the client and independent agency Doner parted ways.

The company spent more than $350 million on advertising last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Doner handles the lion’s share of the account.

Southfield, Mich.-based Doner in a statement said it resigned the business. Progressive said in a separate statement that it would begin reviewing the account via Roth in New York.

“The agency is very proud of the work we’ve done for Progressive over the years,” said agency CEO Alan Kalter, in the statement. “We’ve helped them grow their direct business into a $4 billion franchise and created a powerful brand together.”

The company spent more than $200 million on its Progressive.com Web site advertising and another $100 million on other products, but sources said Doner’s creative fees were equivalent to a $20 million account.

Media chores have been handled in-house. Doner’s work had been for the Progressive Direct division of the company, which sells insurance directly to consumers. WPP Group’s Grey in New York handles advertising for Progressive Drive, a product sold through independent agents, according to a company representative. The company spent about $50 million advertising Progressive Drive last year, according to Nielsen.

Doner’s creative strategy involved having people show that using Progressive could get the insurer’s quote plus quotes from up to three other insurers. The tagline has been, “Think easier. Think Progressive.”

Progressive, which has been in business since 1937, is currently the country’s third-largest auto insurer.

This story updates an item posted earlier today with news of the review and additional details.