Progressive Moves on From Arnell

$70 Mil. in Creative, Direct Duties Are In Play
DALLAS–Progressive Insurance has put its estimated $70 million account into review, ending a relationship with Arnell Group Brand Consulting.
The Cleveland-based auto insurer has contacted shops in the Midwest, East and Southwest. Progressive plans to spend about $50 million on TV and radio advertising and $20 million on direct mail and sports sponsorships (the client spent $34 million on ads last year). Progressive, the fifth-largest auto insurer, has asked agencies to submit credentials by today. Marketing director David Pratt is heading the review.
The company wants an agency with more experience than Arnell in direct response advertising and one that can better leverage Progressive’s network of 30,000 agents, said company representative Leslie Kolleda.
Progressive does its own media buying but the agency would do planning. A decision is expected in June.
Arnell in New York has no direct marketing capability. “We had the assignment of [building] awareness,” chairman Peter Arnell said. “That was the objective.”
Progressive’s agency questionnaire acknowledges that challenge. “Although growing, consumer awareness of Progressive is still low,” the document states.
Arnell was hired in August, succeeding Publicis & Hal Riney, Chicago. Its work included a Super Bowl spot featuring the movie character E.T. The new shop will still have to work with the little alien, since the has client struck a “long-term relationship” with Amblin Entertainment and Universal Studios. The client also plans to keep Arnell’s “Be progressive” tag. –with Trevor Jensen