Direct Line hands CHI £35m business

Clemmow Hornby Inge wins the account famed for the red telephone, strengthening ties with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Clemmow Hornby Inge has strengthened its relationship with the Royal Bank of Scotland by scooping the £35 million advertising account for the bank's Direct Line insurance brand.

The agency triumphed in a final shoot-out against its fellow RBS roster agency M&C Saatchi, which handles advertising for NatWest. Ogilvy & Mather was knocked out at an earlier stage after all three agencies' work was put into research. WCRS and Burkitt DDB also presented but, like the incumbent, Mortimer Whittaker O'Sullivan, they were ruled out early on.

CHI's winning pitch focused on enhancing and modernising the existing brand equity established by Direct Line's long-running red telephone icon.

This is in contrast to the shift of focus away from the telephone icon during MWO's eight-year tenure.

The brief covers all Direct Line's businesses as the company looks to maintain its lead in the sector. Graham Ross, Direct Line's managing director, said: "The Direct Line brand enjoys extremely high brand recognition in the UK. Our priority has been to ensure that the successful agency will contribute to the continued success of the Direct Line brand."

In the past 12 months, the brand's marketing spend was £32.5 million, according to figures from Nielsen Media Research. Its latest campaign, developed by MWO, positioned Direct Line staff as superheroes who go to great lengths to serve customers.

Direct Line was the first telephone-based insurance company to launch in the UK, in 1985. Since then, the company has grown its offering to include insurance packages for homes, travel and pets, as well as the home emergency service HR24.


Banking: Saatchi & Saatchi

Card Services: Saatchi & Saatchi, Draft London

Corporate: M&C Saatchi, Saatchi & Saatchi

Mint Card: Clemmow Hornby Inge

Direct Line Insurance: Clemmow Hornby Inge

Privilege Insurance: M&C Saatchi

First Active: Clemmow Hornby Inge

The One account: Clemmow Hornby Inge, Tequila\London

NatWest: M&C Saatchi, Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel

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