Esure offers agencies widening remit in £8m DM review

LONDON - Esure, the motor insurance company famed for its TV ads featuring Michael Winner, is reviewing its £8m direct marketing business.

The company has approached several agencies ahead of a pitch. One source said it is looking for an agency to work initially on direct marketing, but the relationship could progress to include DRTV and press activity.

Esure, which spent £8.3m on direct mail campaigns in 2003 and is thought to have increased this spend in 2004 on the back of higher customer numbers, has used several agencies for its direct mail and other direct activity. These include Carlson and Red Cell Response.

However, Esure said its relationship with Carlson, which has worked on a variety of online projects, was not being reviewed.

Esure, which is part of the HBOS group, recently moved its £12m media planning and buying account from Media Planning Group to Carat. The agency is also planning and buying Esure's direct response activity. In 2002, Esure took its advertising creative in-house and the ads are now created and directed by Winner.

The latest TV spot, featuring the "calm down" line, shows Winner playing both himself and his own wife.

A spokeswoman for Esure confirmed that it was talking to agencies.

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