Tags: metlife | snoopy | life insurance | advertising

MetLife, Snoopy Part Ways as Company Spins Off Life Insurance Business

Image: MetLife, Snoopy Part Ways as Company Spins Off Life Insurance Business

The MetLife blimp during the second round of the Tour Championship at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. (David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire)

By    |   Thursday, 20 Oct 2016 02:13 PM

MetLife is firing Snoopy after the "Peanuts" cartoon character has appeared in advertising for more than 30 years.

The iconic "Peanuts" character, created by late cartoonist Charles Schulz, had shown up in everything from marketing and sales materials to the MetLife blimp, which has appeared at some of the country's biggest sporting events.

But MetLife plans to spin off the bulk of its life insurance business in the United States during the first half of 2017, limiting its American business insurance business mostly to corporate clients, leaving less need for the lovable beagle, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"We knew with all the transformation going on we needed to rethink how we went to market and how we presented our brand," Steven Kandarian, MetLife's chief executive, told the newspaper.

Sometime in 2017 a MetLife's U.S.-based life insurance customers will become part of a new company called Brighthouse Financial. Brighthouse will have $240 billion of total assets and approximately 2.6 million insurance policies and annuity contracts, USA Today reported.

"We brought in Snoopy over 30 years ago to make our company more friendly and approachable during a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant," Esther Lee, global chief marketing officer of MetLife, told CNN Money. "Snoopy helped drive our business and served an important role at the time."

"We have great respect for these iconic characters, (but) it's important that we associate our brand directly with the work we do and the partnership we have with our customers," Lee added.

MetLife announced earlier this month that Brighthouse Financial had filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, moving toward separating the two independent publicly traded companies.

Snoopy first appeared in Schulz's cartoons in October, 1950.

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MetLife is firing Snoopy after the Peanuts cartoon character has appeared in advertising for more than 30 years.
metlife, snoopy, life insurance, advertising
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2016-13-20
Thursday, 20 Oct 2016 02:13 PM
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