CGNU R.I.P. – Welcome Aviva

July 2, 2002

In the latest triumph of marketing hype over common sense, CGNU, the U.K.’s largest insurer, officially recommenced life on Monday as Aviva Plc.

CEO Richard Harvey, who first proposed the change last February, has indicated that it will give the venerable insurer a new image evoking its vitality, and will enable it to combine its many brand names under one global umbrella, although some, notably Norwich Union in the UK, Delta Lloyd in the Netherlands, Commercial Union in Poland, Hibernian in Ireland and NZI in New Zealand, will be retained.

Objections by some shareholders and investors that the change was was silly and unnecessary have been largely ignored in the face of assertions that CGNU’s – ‘er Aviva’s – marketing and advertising activities will benefit from the change. Time will tell.

Editor’s Comment:
Enough has been written about meaningless corporate name changes in general, and this one in particular, that offering anything more is overkill at this point. If the shareholders approve, a company has a right to call itself anything it wants, even if Aviva provokes images of cheering soccer fans or vitamin supplements, rather than insurance. Let’s just hope it doesn’t give the marketing departments at companies like AIG similar ideas.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.