NEWS: Mortimer scoops Direct Line’s pounds 13m

Mortimer Whittaker O’Sullivan - the fledgling agency formerly known as Advertising Options and a part of the GGT Group - has beaten the incumbent, TBWA, to Direct Line’s pounds 13 million creative account after a three-way pitch.

Mortimer Whittaker O’Sullivan - the fledgling agency formerly known as

Advertising Options and a part of the GGT Group - has beaten the

incumbent, TBWA, to Direct Line’s pounds 13 million creative account

after a three-way pitch.



Direct Line put its creative account up for grabs in June. TBWA, which

has held the business for seven years, repitched against Mortimer

Whittaker and Mellors Reay and Partners, the third shortlisted agency.



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

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

media account held by the Media Business is unaffected by the creative

change.



Chippendale said: ‘This was an extremely closely fought pitch, with

proposals of the highest quality from all agencies. However, we

concluded that Mortimer Whittaker’s creative and strategic approach

would best meet Direct Line’s current and future advertising needs.’



He added: ‘It is with regret that we end our seven-year relationship

with TBWA and we wish to record our appreciation of its significant

contribution to Direct Line during that time.’



Jo Hoare, TBWA’s chairman, commented: ‘It’s been a fantastic

relationship but it’s the right time for a parting of the ways. We wish

them all the best. But I can’t say we are short of alternatives.’ Hoare

added that TBWA was currently on the shortlist for a rival insurance

client.



The famous red telephone branding device, created by Chris Wilkins while

at Davis Wilkins Advertising, will remain the focal point for the

advertising. Chippendale said: ‘Future advertising will continue to

utilise the red phone, but executions will incorporate new thinking that

will make it work harder.’



The account transferred with Wilkins to Hoare Wilkins in 1991 and

finally moved to TBWA following its merger with Hoare Wilkins in 1994.

Wilkins, who left TBWA in April, recommended that Direct Line include

Mortimer Whittaker on its shortlist.



The agency is run by the former managing director of Generator, Tim

Mortimer, and the former KHBB creative directors, John O’Sullivan and

Chris Whittaker.



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