Bear Meets Eagle on Fire wins new work with IAG, amid rumours of roster movement

Insurance company IAG has handed more creative work to indie shop, Bear Meets Eagle on Fire (BMEOF), as rumours circulate the brand has parted ways with lead agency, The Monkeys.

CMO Brent Smart confirmed to Mumbrella that Bear has won a new project, however, clarified The Monkeys remain on the roster of creative agencies the insurance group works with, and that it remains unchanged.

IAG partnered with BMEOF for the first time in 2021.

“We work with a roster of agencies and projects move between agencies as required. Both The Monkeys and Bear Meets Eagle On Fire are on our roster and are working on different projects. Those projects are confidential in nature.”

This marks a big win for the boutique creative shop, which is home to just five employees. BMEOF declined to comment when approached.

Accenture Song lead across Australia and New Zealand, Mark Green told Mumbrella the agency is still working with IAG, but that there are now “more agencies around the table”.

Mumbrella understands both BMEOF and The Monkeys were vying for the project. It is unknown which of the IAG brands it will be for. Its brands include CGU, NRMA, and Rollin.

Brent Smart

This comes less than a month after Accenture Interactive rebranded to Accenture Song – as part of a global consolidation – which included bringing all of the group’s creative agencies under one brand. For the time being, Droga5 and The Monkeys (only in Australia) maintained their individual brand names. Industry speculation suggests The Monkeys name will further be consolidated under the Accenture Song brand in time.

The Monkeys was appointed as the main creative agency in 2017 without a pitch, shortly after Brent Smart was appointed as the insurance group’s chief marketing officer, and two months after The Monkeys was purchased by Accenture Interactive at that time.

IAG switched out its media agency partner last year, ending its six-year relationship with GroupM’s Mindshare.

In October 2021, BMEOF created the brand design and identity, as well as the first campaign for IAG’s new “flexible car insurance brand”, Rollin, aimed at a younger, independent customer base.

The agency recently created an OOH campaign for NRMA. IAG has in recent years operated with a creative roster of agencies, working with The Monkeys, BMEOF, Thinkerbell, and CHEP Network.

Managing director of BMEOF, Toby Hussey told Mumbrella earlier this year the agency usually uses a network of contractors from its “black book of talent where we bring people in for projects”.

He said this means the agency has to be very selective around what projects it takes on, and that finding those right projects and scaling around them “is always a challenge” in finding the right people.

IAG’s director of content and customer engagement, Zara Curtis appeared on the Mumbrellacast earlier this year, as part of a special discussion on the modern merits of pitching.


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