Direct Line Life, the recently formed joint venture between Direct
Line and Scottish Widows, is searching for an advertising agency to
boost its profile with a new multi-million pound advertising budget.
Direct Line Life, which offers PEPs and life products, contacted the
Advertising Agency Register last week, and is lining up four agencies to
pitch for the business. One source estimated the account could reach
pounds 12 million.
Direct Line’s main motor and home insurance account, which Mortimer
Whittaker O’Sullivan snatched from TBWA last year, is currently
unaffected by the review, and it is unclear whether Direct Line Life
will borrow the famous red telephone branding device that has remained
central to Mortimer Whittaker’s advertising.
Direct Line Life was formed on 1 July to strengthen existing ties
between the Royal Bank of Scotland, the owner of Direct Line, and
Scottish Widows holds a 50 per cent stake in the company.
The pitch is believed to be led by Allison Crawford, a senior executive
at Direct Line Life, although a spokesperson played down reports of the
pitch: ’Any company that wants to make a success in any market reviews
its marketing regularly. That is all we are doing.’
The operation is based on Direct Line’s trademark direct phone
operation. Scottish Widows, meanwhile, provides underwriting expertise,
management services and some back office administration for the
At the launch of the company in July, Duncan MacKechnie, its chief
executive, said: ’We have given great consideration to the way in which
we sell protection products to our customers. The new venture will
continue to take the mystique out of buying life products over the
telephone. To simplify the service, we have already developed two
straightforward and competitive protection products that our customers
can buy over the telephone free of any form-filling hassles.’
Direct Line is a financial services group offering insurance schemes,
mortgages, PEPs, instant access saving and life insurance products over