Royal & Sun Alliance (RSA) has appointed Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe and its new direct arm, HPT Brand Response, to handle the 20m through-the-line account for its direct insurance operation.
The appointment signals a change in marketing strategy for the direct channel which will trial above-the-line advertising, including TV, for the first time in an attempt to create higher response rates by raising RSA’s profile as a direct insurer.
Peter Dean, brand manager for the direct division, says all above-the-line media will be considered for a test campaign in the final quarter of this year.
“We are definitely looking at ways of changing the balance of marketing expenditure – we have only used direct marketing to generate response in the past,” he adds.
Below-the-line agency Evans Hunt Scott has lost the account after a decade of working with Sun Alliance. The agency clung to the account when the three direct arms of Sun Alliance and Royal Insurance – Sun Alliance Connections, The Insurance Service and Royal Insurance Direct – were pulled together in August 1997, following the merger of the two parent companies in May 1996.
Former divisional manager for customer services Adrian Brown has been promoted to head the direct division. He replaces Syd Pennington who took the top group marketing job when Peter Taylor retired last month (MW February 26).
It is understood that McCann-Erickson is nearing the end of its contract for the worldwide branding policy and strategy account for the RSA group.
But the agency says there has been no change in its relationship with RSA.