Sainsbury’s Bank plans Esure insurance link-up

Supermarket bank earmarks a £15m advertising spend to promote car insurance services

Sainsbury’s Bank is launching a car insurance product with Esure, the insurance company jointly owned by Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) and insurance guru Peter Wood.

The launch will be backed by a &£15m advertising spend and Sainsbury’s Bank is hunting for an advertising agency to create the campaign.

The project is being overseen by Sainsbury’s Bank chief executive Tim Pile and marketing director Kate Nicholson. The search for an agency is being handled by The Haystack Group.

HHCL/Red Cell, McCann Erickson Manchester St Luke’s, Walsh Trott Chick Smith and WCRS, are believed to be pitching. Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, the current advertising agency for Sainsbury’s Bank as well as parent brand Sainsbury’s, is not pitching. Sainsbury’s Bank is a joint venture with HBOS and J Sainsbury.

Esure, which uses Michael Winner in its ads, specialises in offering low-cost insurance to low-risk drivers.

Sainsbury’s Bank offers loans, credit cards, savings products and travel, home, car, health, life and pet insurance. It tested its off-the-shelf Pick’n’pay travel insurance last year (MW August 14, 2003).

Sainsbury’s Bank stopped selling mortgages earlier this year but says it plans to sell home loans. Arch-rival Tesco Personal Finance, a joint venture with Royal Bank of Scotland, will decide whether to offer mortgages at a board meeting to be held this month.

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