Progressive Selects Arnold

BOSTON Progressive Direct has selected Arnold for creative chores following a review, the client has confirmed. Estimated billings exceed $150 million.

The Boston-based Havas shop outpaced holding company siblings Euro RSCG in New York and McKinney in Durham, N.C., as well as Omnicom Group’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas, in the final round.

The finalists emerged from a field of six that also included Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York and independent The Richards Group in Dallas [Adweek Online, June 27].

The incumbent, independent Doner in Southfield, Mich., resigned the business at the onset of the review.

Progressive in Mayfield Village, Ohio, is the third largest direct seller of auto insurance in the U.S., and has grown an average of 20 percent over the last three years to $4.2 billion.

“They are a unique and innovative company and we’re eager to begin working with them and helping to grow their business,” said Arnold president Pam Hamlin, in a statement.

Roth Associates, New York, managed the agency review process.

Arnold also advanced last week in the Heineken USA review and is one of six shops currently pitching that $80 million piece of business [Adweek Online, Sept. 14].

The Progressive win is by far Arnold’s biggest in 2006. The agency this summer added the $10 million Trex account after reeling in the $30 million Lee Jeans business as the year began. Arnold in recent months came up short in several other reviews, including contests for Panasonic and H&R Block.

Progressive becomes one of Arnold’s largest clients, along with RadioShack (which spent $225 million last year on ads, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus) and Vonage (which spent $125 million last year and $160 million in the first half of 2006, per Nielsen).