Snoopy cut loose by MetLife

Snoopy has been handed the pink slip.

After 31 years (217 dog years) as the face of insurance giant MetLife Inc., the company said Thursday that it is launching a new global branding effort, marking the end of a long relationship with Charlie Brown's beagle and the Peanuts crew.

"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," said Esther Lee, MetLife's global chief marketing officer. "Snoopy helped drive our business and served an important role at the time."

But MetLife is spinning off its domestic retail life insurance business to focus more on corporate clients. Snoopy does not appear to hold the same marketing swagger with corporate America.

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