A complaint to the governor by the Professional Insurance Agents Association of Ohio got results when an insurance company’s advertisements were dropped from vehicle registration renewal notices sent to Ohio drivers.
The Massachusetts company that sends the notices, Imagitas Inc., has reached an agreement with the state to ban insurance ads. Gov. Bob Taft asked the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to look into the contract with Imagitas two months ago, saying he was concerned the Allstate Corp. ads might be taken as a state endorsement of the company over other insurance agents.
The Professional Insurance Agents Association of Ohio, an organization representing thousands of state insurers, complained in a letter to Taft earlier this year that only Illinois-based Allstate was included in the mailings.
“We’re delighted the governor took a leadership role and did the right thing,” said George Haenszel, the trade group’s executive vice president.
The insurance ads, which generated about $250,000 in annual revenue, will be discontinued starting next month, said Tamara Dukes, an Imagitas vice president. The mailings will still include ads from other companies.
“We value our partnership with the state of Ohio,” Dukes said. “Clearly, there were concerns, and we heard those concerns and responded.”
Taft spokesman Mark Rickel said the governor singled out car insurance ads because the state regulates insurance.
The state uses the money raised by the ads to defray the $1.2 million cost of printing and mailing the notices, bureau spokesman Fred Stratmann said.
Allstate did not complain about being banned from advertising in the mailings.
“This was an innovative opportunity for Allstate to get its name and product in front of customers and potential customers,” spokeswoman Karen Spica said. “We understand they’re going in a different direction, and that’s fine.”