Price comparison site in £5m agency talks

Independent price comparison and switching service uSwitch.com is understood to be talking to a number of advertising agencies about a &£5m ad task as it seeks to increase its advertising and expand its services this year.

It is not known whether the review will affect the position of Starcom Direct, which handles media planning and buying for uSwitch. Starcom Digital was appointed by the online comparison service in June last year.

The pitch, which is believed to be for both above- and below-the-line advertising, has been prompted by the appointment of Michael Longden as brand development manager. Longden has responsibility for advertising strategy and implementation.

Longden reports directly to uSwitch marketing director Barry Holloway. His appointment will see an increase in advertising across all platforms this year in an effort to boost customer acquisition. Longden will work with uswitch.com customer development manager Nicola Vidal.

Longden has worked on marketing and advertising campaigns for esure, elephant.co.uk and Admiral. He spent three years at esure as part of the launch team with responsibility for all above-the-line and online activity.

The uSwitch site offers a range of comparison calculators for home services, telecoms and personal finance suppliers. Users can apply online or by telephone, save their search or research further. Recent launches from uSwitch.com include a comparison of all the current accounts on the market and a water calculator to show potential savings from switching to a water meter.

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