Aviva hands insurance and motoring brief to FH

Fishburn Hedges is poised to clinch FTSE 100 insurance and motoring group Aviva’s public affairs account.

The company, which owns Britain's biggest insurance business Norwich Union (NU) as well as the RAC, has chosen FH for a two-year contract after a hotly contested pitch. Effective from
1 April, fees are close to £20,000 a month.

As well as representing NU's life, healthcare and general insurance units, and the RAC, the brief includes maximising the profile of Aviva CEO Richard Harvey in policy-making circles.

On the insurance front, the group is preparing to deal with a raft of legislation, including the Compensation Bill, the Fraud Bill and this spring's pensions white paper. It is also keen to play an active role in the Financial Service Authority's upcoming review of general insurance regulations, due to kick off next month.

On motoring matters, the RAC will this spring publish its flagship RAC Report on Motoring, which details motorists' views on the issues of most relevance to drivers. The company wants to explore how best to position that report.

NU Insurance head of PA Ian Beggs stressed the selection of FH was 'subject to contract' but that it would 'conclude formalities over the next few days'.

FH is understood to have seen off Blue Rubicon in a final-round shootout for the account, which followed a pitch also involving Fleishman-Hillard, LLM Communications and AS Biss & Co, the incumbent for the RAC. The previous incumbent for NU was Luther Pendragon.

FH Public Affairs MD Graham McMillan leads the account and will be supported by Simon Burton and Lucy Burns.

Aviva acquired the RAC in May last year. Beggs praised AS Biss' and Luther's work for the company over the past three years. He said FH had 'demonstrated the right blend of nous on financial services and motoring issues'.

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