Premierline Direct plans 8m UK expansion

Allianz Cornhill-owned insurance brand Premierline Direct is quadrupling its marketing spend to £8m ahead of "aggressive" expansion plans in the UK.

The niche insurer is also reviewing its advertising, with a pitch to be overseen by marketing director Katie Aston. Manchester-based Cipher Direct Marketing is the incumbent on the account. Aston and chief executive Barrie Wells are said to favour an agency with through-the-line credentials.

Online work is handled by Brilliant Media, while MediaVest Manchester handles the brand’s media account. Neither agency will be affected by the review.

The financial services company is looking for an agency to develop its brand, integrate creative work across a range of media and increase sales.

Premierline Direct is seeking to double in size by 2008, with turnover for 2006 set to be £17m. It launched in 2002, providing business insurance to smallto medium-sized companies (SMEs).

Aston joined in June 2005 from Matalan, where she was marketing manager, responsible for areas including national TV, press, radio, market research, internet development and direct mail.

Premierline Direct is a subsidiary of Allianz Cornhill Insurance, the UK arm of German group Allianz, which also underwrites Premierline’s products.

It packages products to sectors including retailers, pubs, restaurants, hotels, property owners and motor traders and markets itself as the UK’s first specialist SME insurer.

Allianz is Germany’s second largest company and one of the world’s biggest insurers. It started a global review of its online creative development and ad account in May this year.

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