Direct Line to rethink 6m account

Direct Line Insurance is reviewing its 6m financial services advertising account held by 1576, as part of a complete strategic overhaul of the operation.

McCann-Erickson, DMB&B Financial, Ammirati Puris Lintas and one other agency are pitching for the account which comprises Direct Line’s savings, loans and mortgage businesses.

The brief refers to plans to launch a credit card (MW February 18) under the Direct Line name. But it also involves the whole mix of Direct Line’s financial services. The review is expected to lead to a new-look advertising campaign.

“The famous red telephone says some things about the brand – motoring, speed and accessibility – but it doesn’t say much about mortgages, for example. Direct Line is looking at how to forge a brand identity to work across its financial services operation,” says the source.

Direct Line Financial Services marketing director Chris Herbert comments: “We are continually looking at our advertising, but we do not comment on speculation.”

Incumbent 1576 declined to repitch for the account.

Direct Line Group has promoted Jim Wallace to be its new group marketing director. Wallace will replace Andy Brown on March 31 when the Royal Bank of Scotland-owned sister companies Direct Line and Privilege merge. Both brands will be retained.

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