Direct Line to recruit sales house

Car insurer Direct Line is set to recruit a sales house, advertising and media agencies to work on a new motoring website.

Car insurer Direct Line is set to recruit a sales house,

advertising and media agencies to work on a new motoring website.



A spokesman for the company said the site would contain banner ads and

that an ’external agency’ would be used to sell the space.



He added that creative and media agencies would be recruited to promote

the site, although an announcement was unlikely to be made until the

summer.



Direct Line has teamed up with car retailer Dixon Motors to set up the

site, which will generate most of its revenue from online car sales.

Dixon Motors is the country’s third largest car retailer, selling 70,000

motors a year.



Direct Line’s e-commerce managing director Oliver Prill commented: ’By

2005 we anticipate that 15 per cent of total car sales will take place

over the web and that Direct Line will become a leading web player.’



Dixon Motors managing director Simon Dixon said the site would

revolutionise motor sales. ’Gone are the days of the hard sell in the

forecourt.’



The initiative will draw on Direct Line’s existing database of three

million customers. Cars will be delivered direct to clients through

Dixon’s distribution division, bypassing the dealership network.



Figures from Fletcher Research suggest that 24 per cent of ABC1s have

already used car sites when looking for a vehicle, and that 33 per cent

are expecting to go online to search for a car in the next six

months.



The site’s name and launch date have yet to be announced, but it is

expected to go live early this summer.



Direct Line says the service may eventually be expanded onto WAP mobile

phones.



Direct Line uses Mortimer Whittaker O’Sullivan for its creative, with

media planning and buying through MediaCom TMB.