Uswitch.com bought by UK internet group Forward

LONDON - Price comparison website Uswitch.com has been acquired by UK internet group Forward, which has changed its name from Traffic Broker.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed but is likely to result in a substantial loss for the seller, US publishing and TV group Scripps Network Interactive.

Scripps paid £210m for Uswitch.com in 2006 and went on to invest in a high profile ad campaign created by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy featuring a gospel choir singing 'U gotta switch'. It moved the account to Adam & Eve in 2008 before putting Uswitch up for sale in June last year.

Uswitch chief executive Alan Tattersall has also stepped down.

Forward has put Uswitch.com into its consumer division, Forward Innovations, which also houses mobile phone price comparison website Omio, price comparison within the browser service Invisible Hand, and Just Shops, a range of speciality e-commerce stores.

Forward said the expansion of its consumer business over the past five years was the reason for changing its name from Traffic Broker.

The Traffic Broker search marketing business will now be known as Forward 3D and will handle search marketing for Uswitch.com.

Neil Hutchinson, chief executive of Forward, said: "We achieve innovation through technology and aim to grow Uswitch.com into an even stronger consumer brand than it is today."

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