PEARL RIVER, NY--ACORD, the global leader in standards for the insurance and financial services industries, is launching an advocacy campaign that features original print and web advertising that takes a humorous look at a world without standards.

The aim of the campaign is to widen and deepen the global standards group's significant footprint among insurers, reinsurers, distributors, and their business partners. ACORD's new ads challenge business leaders to look anew at the value of data standards.

"We want to grab the attention of senior business leaders and technology leaders who aren't yet fully engaged in the world of standards, and invite them to a dialogue about the value," said Rick Gilman, ACORD's vice president of corporate communications. "Standards have been proven to increase efficiency, reduce duplication of work, and cut down on ambiguous communication. We want to let business leaders know about those benefits-and deliver the message that standards make life better for the insurance consumer by strengthening competitors that use them."

ACORD is a nonprofit organization that creates and advocates the use of standards for sharing data across diverse technology systems and business platforms. ACORD standards have been implemented by hundreds of insurers, reinsurers, and solution providers, and used by thousands of brokers and agents. The standards allow companies to readily share data within their organizations as well as with external business partners.

The advocacy campaign revolves around a series of advertisements featuring cartoons drawn by renowned cartoonist Peter Steiner, a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine for 20 years. The ads recently began appearing in major insurance trade publications in the United States, and will expand to European publications early in 2005.

A new web site ( http://cartoons.acord.org ) allows viewers to e-mail and print their favorite cartoons. The new site also provides case studies, implementation information, and membership information for each of ACORD's three industry segments: life and annuity; property and casualty/surety; and reinsurance. Another aspect of the campaign is a syndicated column in insurance industry publications.

The cartoons reflect Steiner's widely-recognizable wry style. They picture situations in the world where the use of standards readily could improve productivity and communication. For example, one ad pictures an "IT guy" standing before a seated office manager and asking "The IT guys want to know whether you want more wires, more servers or more IT guys." The ad playfully asks: "Standards? Who Needs Standards?" and carries the message: "Do you just want more of the same? Or do you want more from what you've got? ACORD standards can improve your technology ROI."

"There are thousands of insurance technology executives who know and support the value of ACORD standards," Gilman said. "But we want to take our message to the next level. This is a serious campaign - directed right at senior business executives - that takes a lighthearted approach. We're asking business leaders to consider in a fresh light the strategic value of insurance data standards."

Another planned effort in the advocacy campaign is a forthcoming book on the value and future of standards by Gregory A. Maciag, ACORD's president & CEO.

 

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