City & Corporate: Lloyds chooses WPP team

Banking WPP's 'Team Y&R' to promote life, pensions and investment insurance.

Lloyds Banking Group has handed a WPP-led coalition of agencies the corporate media relations and public affairs accounts for its insurance division.

Cohn & Wolfe and Burson-Marsteller will handle the wide-ranging brief, encompassing Lloyds' life, pensions and investments products.

The remit also incorporates the group's corporate and public affairs in Scotland, which will be handled by independent Glasgow-based agency McGarvie Morrison Media.

The three agencies pitched together as a unified team as one of the four candidates on a final shortlist. TLG, Luther Pendragon and a collection of Bell Pottinger agencies were thought to have got through to the final round from an initial list of more than 20 firms.

C&W and B-M will operate under a 'Team Y&R' umbrella as both are owned by WPP subsidiary Young & Rubicam.

The work will centre on Lloyds' Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical brands. Scottish Widows is in the process of incorporating Clerical Medical, but the latter brand remains for policy holders.

'Now that we have Clerical Medical, we are one of the biggest pensions providers in Britain,' said Ross Keany, head of media relations, insurance, at Lloyds Banking Group. 'This is about ensuring we have the right PR strategy to promote Scottish Widows and Lloyds Banking Group as a leading pensions, long-term savings and protection provider.'

Lansons was the previous incumbent on the Scottish Widows account, while Cicero handled public affairs for the division. There was no incumbent for the Scotland-specific aspect of the brief.

It is thought Lloyds was insistent that the three aspects of the brief would fall under one pitch.

Heading 'Team Y&R' will be Geoff Beattie, global practice leader for corporate affairs at C&W. George Hutchinson, head of public affairs, will lead B-M's involvement, while co-founder Lindsay McGarvie will lead the MMM account in Scotland.

They all report to John Penman, ex-Sunday Times business editor for Scotland, who is now head of corporate comms for insurance and Scotland at Lloyds Banking Group.

The pitch process was led by Oystercatchers, with final presentations made to Penman and his team. The brief does not include general insurance, such as autos or home insurance products, which remains with Band & Brown.

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