CIBC Insurance Agency search begins

CIBC Insurance is looking for an agency within the pool of talent used by its parent, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.Three Toronto agencies will be briefed and give presentations this month: McKim Baker Lovick/ BBDO, cibc's corporate agency; Harrod &...

CIBC Insurance is looking for an agency within the pool of talent used by its parent, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Three Toronto agencies will be briefed and give presentations this month: McKim Baker Lovick/ BBDO, cibc’s corporate agency; Harrod & Mirlin, which handles rrsp campaigns and other projects; and The Gingko Group, which takes care of securities advertising and other investment campaigns.

Mary Newman, general manager marketing, says by mid-July she will know if she is going with one of the existing agencies.

Newman hopes to have an agency in place by Aug. 1.

cibc is limiting the review to the three shops even though it has been impressed by the quality of the numerous other submissions it has received.

Primary agency

The winning agency will be designated as the primary agency and will handle image advertising, but others will be used as needed.

cibc also uses Direct Solutions Group, a division of Padulo Advertising, and Russo for direct marketing, and Ford Motor Company of Canada’s agency, Young & Rubicam, for the new CIBC Ford Visa Card.

The major introduction of cibc’s insurance arm is planned for early 1994.

Newman says the approach will be soft, and cibc will not be perceived as aggressively selling insurance but instead will offer clients CIBC Insurance as a choice.

cibc has had an insurance division for the past 10 years to source and manage products such as credit insurance, which is sold in the branches along with loans, mortgages and credit cards.

Co-operative deals

These insurance products have been provided through co-operative relationships with insurance companies such as Canada Life.

Existing contracts with these suppliers will be honored, but Newman says CIBC Insurance would like to begin underwriting its own insurance as soon as possible.

CIBC Insurance will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

CIBC Insurance expects to get its licences this fall, which will allow it to underwrite its own insurance such as home, life, auto, and gradually add credit insurance.

According to regulation, the insurance division must operate as a free-standing company and cannot distribute through the bank branches.

Because real estate is so expensive, Newman says the company is looking at alternative methods of distribution and a variety of direct response methods will be used.

Direct mail will be key, and telemarketing will be limited to in-bound calls initiated by the customer.

Interactive kiosks, similar to those used since April by Toronto Dominion Bank to sell travel insurance, may also be used.