Prudential is shopping for a new ad agency after years of handling most of its advertising itself

Charles Lowrey

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Prudential is looking for a new ad agency after handling most of its advertising internally as it seeks to restart growth, according to people with direct knowledge.

A spokeswoman confirmed the move and two sources said independent and big ad holding company-owned firms have been invited to pitch for the business. Insider was unable to determine the scale of the assignment.

The insurance giant was one of the first companies to create an internal ad agency in the late 1990s and provided a model for other big spenders like Procter & Gamble to take more of their marketing work in-house.

For years, Prudential has overseen most of its own advertising, creating ads and handling media strategy and buying with a custom tech stack, although it used Droga5 for several years, a source said.

Sources said Prudential determined the in-house strategy is not working and that it wants to market itself more aggressively after reporting its first annual loss since 2013 because of record low interest rates and the economic downturn.

Prudential also named new leadership in its marketing and PR departments in recent months, and agency reviews often follow such shakeups. It hired Susan Somersille Johnson of Truist Financial as CMO, promoting her predecessor Naveen Agarwal to chief market development officer, and naming Alan Sexton as chief communications officer.

Prudential spent $53 million on advertising in 2019, excluding paid social campaigns, according to market-research firm Kantar. That total is down from an estimated $85 million in 2010.

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Source:: Businessinsider – Finance


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