NEWS: Direct Line reviews pounds 13m account

Direct Line Insurance has put its pounds 13 million creative account up for grabs in a move that threatens the company’s seven-year relationship with its incumbent agency,TBWA.

Direct Line Insurance has put its pounds 13 million creative account up

for grabs in a move that threatens the company’s seven-year relationship

with its incumbent agency,TBWA.



Details of the review are being kept under wraps, but it has been

TBWA will be given the chance to repitch against an undisclosed number

of agencies. A decision is expected by September.



The review is billed as ‘part of a wide-ranging business plan to be

undertaken by Direct Line’s new chief executive, Ian Chippendale’.



Direct Line’s famous red phone was created by the copywriter, Chris

Wilkins, who is now retired, while he was the creative director at Davis

Wilkins Advertising. The account transferred with him to Hoare Wilkins

in 1991, and finally moved to TBWA following the agency’s merger with

Hoare Wilkins in 1994.



Direct Line Insurance, said: ‘We believe that it is healthy at this

point in time to review how best to satisfy our future needs. We are

extremely appreciative of the significant contribution that the agency

has made to our success over the past seven years.’



The media account for Direct Line Insurance, held by the Media Business,

is unaffected. The Direct Line Savings account, held by the Edinburgh

agency, 1576, is excluded from the review.



Direct Line stressed that it would not disclose any details of the

review, and would not consider speculative approaches from advertising

agencies.



Jonathan Hoare, the managing director of TBWA, said: ‘Direct Line is

right to look around. The company has moved from small challenger to

market leader, but its profits have fallen dramatically and the market

has changed. We welcome the opportunity to take a fresh look at Direct

Line’s marketing and resources.’