Direct Line Insurance is reviewing its 8m account, held by TBWA for seven years.
The company is drawing up a shortlist of four agencies, including TBWA which created the red telephone branding device. However, it will give no further details and a spokeswoman says: “No speculative approaches will be considered.”
Direct Line general manager Karen Jones says: “We believe it is healthy at this point to review how best to satisfy our needs.”
The company is facing increasing competition in the direct insurance market. Its profits fell from 45m last year to 5m this year.
Direct Line will not comment on industry speculation that the advertising budget will be slashed to deter unprofitable new business.
TBWA managing director Jonathan Hoare says: “We have enjoyed a good relationship with Direct Line and will have an even better one if we win this pitch, because the company will have to use more far-reaching marketing than before.”
Pitches will take place in August and an appointment will be made in September.
Hoare picked up the account at his previous agency Hoare Wilkins, before it merged with TBWA.