Snoopy, Peanuts gang, cut loose by MetLife as it retools biz

FILE - In a Feb. 6, 2008 file photo, mast man Mike Carr, part of the ground crew for the MetLife blimp, gets ready to pull the pin on the helium filled airship at the Bakersfield, Calif., Municipal Airport. MetLife announced Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 that they will phase out its use of Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang as a brand after more than 30 years. MetLife will be rolling out the new brand globally through 2017. (AP Photo/The Bakersfield Californian, Casey Christie, File)
FILE - In a Feb. 6, 2008 file photo, mast man Mike Carr, part of the ground crew for the MetLife blimp, gets ready to pull the pin on the helium filled airship at the Bakersfield, Calif., Municipal Airport. MetLife announced Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 that they will phase out its use of Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang as a brand after more than 30 years. MetLife will be rolling out the new brand globally through 2017. (AP Photo/The Bakersfield Californian, Casey Christie, File)

Snoopy has been handed the pink slip.

After 31 years (almost 170 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.