One of radio’s top advertisers, GEICO, is putting its media account in review after making cuts within its marketing department. Recently installed CEO Damon Burrell is reportedly seeking proposals for its media business, which accounts for more than $1 billion annually.
According to Ad Age, MediaLink is handling the review. Horizon Media has represented the insurance giant for the past 25 years.
GEICO was radio’s No. 13 advertiser, based on spot volume, for the first six months of 2022. It aired 546,753 spots on AM/FM radio during the period, according to Media Monitors.
The media agency review comes as the company is under multiple business challenges, some of which were brought on by the pandemic and are continuing due to record inflation.
In March, the insurance company, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., raised its average auto insurance rates by 6% in Illinois—on top of a 6% increase the previous December. The company is also battling the growing cost of replacing and repairing cars.
The company closed 38 offices in California and stopped selling insurance via phone in the state and is facing an employee movement to unionize.
"Like most large companies, we continue to review and adjust our staffing to respond to changing customer and business priorities," GEICO said in a statement, adding that it has "not ended relationships with any of our media or marketing partner agencies."
Regarding the layoffs at its marketing department, the company will offer associates positions in other departments when possible and will also provide severance benefits and outplacement services.
Ad Age says it would be a huge blow to Horizon Media if GEICO bolts for another media marketing partner. The company has recently lost U.S. accounts for Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Hortons. It has, however, recently secured the media accounts of Kohl’s, Lionsgate, Slimfast, and Bluetriton.