Rightmove to go ahead with £4.5m ad pitch

LONDON - The property website rightmove.co.uk, is looking for an ad agency for its £4.5m above-the-line account.

The company has approached a number of agencies with a view to creating a two-pronged campaign to highlight the site to both consumers and advertisers.

The site controls 78% of the online property market. In March 2006, it had more than 17m visitors, who viewed more than 346 million pages. This makes it one of the 10 most-visited sites in the UK, ahead of brands such as friendsreunited.com and lastminute.com. 

The website, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2006, saw its share price drop 2 per cent yesterday to 352p on the news that the Government had decided to make a U-turn on its proposed plans to produce Home Information Packs (Hips) for house buyers. Much of rightmove's forecasted valuation at the time of flotation - $400 million by 2008 - was based on revenue generated on the premise that the company would take a massive share of the Hips market.

This will now be diminished significantly.

However, the company has confirmed to the contacted agencies that it is still forging ahead with the pitch.

Rightmove is 30% owned by the estate agent Countrywide, while other major shareholders include another estate agent, Connells, Halifax Bank of Scotland and Royal Sun Alliance.

Its main competitors include the Trinity Mirror-owned smartnewhomes.com and News Corporation's propertyfinder.com.

More than half of the UK's estate agents advertise on the site, often paying up to £300 per branch, per month.

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