Esure has appointed WPP Group-owned Red Cell Response to its &£9m direct marketing business.
The agency, which has worked with the motor insurance company on a project basis in the past, won the business following a five-way pitch.
Red Cell Response will initially work on direct marketing, but its role could be expanded to include press activity and direct response television.
The agency will work with Chris Wilkins and Sian Vickers, who created Direct Line’s red telephone in the early Nineties, along with Esure and First Alternative chairman and Direct Line founder Peter Wood. Wood hired Wilkins and Vickers to work with him as brand consultants at group level at the end of last year.
Esure head of marketing Chris Bowden says: “The couple have been brought out of retirement to work on Esure’s TV creatives to inject new vitality.”
Esure, which is part of the HBOS group, recently moved its &£19m media planning and buying account from Media Planning Group to Carat (MW January 13), following a merger of the Esure and First Alternative marketing departments. Carat already held the &£6m First Alternative brief.
In 2002, Esure took its advertising in house and the ads are now created and directed by Michael Winner. The latest TV ad, which features the now infamous “calm down dear” line, sees Winner starring alongside his wife.