PHD Wins Farmers Insurance Media Account

Farmers Insurance has selected Omnicom’s PHD to handle media planning and buying duties after a formal review that began in the spring. The win also covers 21st Century Insurance, a Farmers subsidiary.

According to Kantar Media, the client spent close to $160 million on ads in 2011.

It’s the second big win for PHD in as many months. In June, the Omnicom shop was selected by Unilever to handle its global $6 billion communications planning account.

The incumbent on the Farmers account was WPP’s Mindshare, which defended. Mindshare has handled the auto and homeowners insurer since 2009, adding 21st Century Insurance and Financial Services in 2010.

The review came after recent changes in the client’s executive ranks. Michael Linton joined the company as CMO last fall. Linton, a 30-year marketing veteran, previously held posts at eBay, Best Buy, Progressive Insurance and Procter & Gamble, among other firms. Jeff Dailey was promoted to CEO in January of 2012.

Farmers has focused on building its national identity in recent years, sponsoring high-profile sports events, such as NASCAR and a number of golf and tennis matches. It also has the naming rights to a proposed new pro football stadium in downtown Los Angeles, Farmers Field.

Farmers recently launched a separate review for an agency to guide its efforts in social media, which the firm has recently invested in more heavily. That review is said to be ongoing.

Farmers claims it is the country's third-largest insurer of both personal lines, passenger automobile and homeowners insurance. It also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products.

Select Resources International oversaw the review process for the client.

Both PHD and Mindshare declined to comment, referring calls to the client. A Farmers rep did not return a query about the selection by deadline.

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