Insurance giant AXA has consolidated its media planning and buying
account, worth an estimated pounds 20m in above-the-line spend, into
Optimum Action, the joint venture between BMP Solutions in Media and
WWAV Rapp Collins Media.
The decision sees Optimum Action handle AXA’s through-the-line media
requirements, including sponsorship of the FA Cup. It will also handle
inserts, the internet, television, press and outdoor media.
The decision concludes an 11-month review of AXA’s media requirements
following its purchase in February last year of Guardian Royal Exchange,
including the PPP Healthcare brand. AXA has been keen to rationalise its
roster of media agencies into a single agency to achieve greater cost
Optimum Action fought off competition from Universal McCann Manchester,
MediaCom TMB and Starcom Motive to win the business.
Prior to the consolidation, Universal McCann Manchester handled media
for AXA Direct, while MediaCom Direct handled media for AXA SunLife
Direct, and Motive handled media for PPP. BMP Solutions in Media was
with AXA SunLife.
The media review follows the centralisation of AXA’s direct marketing
business into Rapier and of its creative account into TBWA GGT Simons
Palmer last year.
AXA is also reviewing its marketing operations following the departure
of marketing director Simon Rhodes who quit in March. His role as
marketing director of AXA Insurance was split between personal lines
director Lee Gladwell and intermediary lines director Mark Cliff
(Marketing July 27).
The company is now deciding how to replace Rhodes’ responsibilities at a
UK brand level.
Optimum Action was set up last June to pool WWAV Rapp Collins Media’s
expertise in direct marketing with BMP Solutions in Media’s media and
sponsorship know-how, and create a strategic direct agency.
According to Mark Palmer, managing partner at BMP Solutions in Media,
Optimum Action will be charged with devising an integrated media
strategy across all the AXA brands and all forms of media.