Direct Line, the biggest motor insurer in the UK, has appointed
Fodor Wyllie Associates on substantial six-figure fees to manage PR
activity for its recently launched on-line service, directline.com.
Fodor Wyllie will report to Direct Line’s corporate affairs head, Chris
Wermann. The account was awarded after a three-way pitch.
According to Wermann, the PR programme will have two strands, involving
a mainstream consumer campaign focusing on how quickly insurance can be
purchased on-line, and a corporate awareness campaign to raise the
profile of Direct Line as a commentator within the e-commerce arena.
The directline.com arm was launched in September by Direct Line’s
in-house PR team, headed by Wermann. ’The launch gained good coverage,
but the continuing work is too much for an in-house team and we don’t
have the contacts to run campaigns,’ he said.
Since the launch of Direct Line’s on-line quote and buy service for its
motor, rescue and home insurance products, the site has received over
seven million page impressions, and around 540,000 one-off visitors, and
provided 135,000 quotations.
’We will focus on differentiating directline.com from the standard
services that only offer quotes by e-mail or a follow up telephone
call,’ said Fodor Wyllie managing director Grace Fodor.
The agency’s brief covers public affairs, conferences, media relations,
sponsorship, and promotions for both on- and off-line media.
Direct Line is investing pounds 2 million in e-commerce marketing and PR
activity for the first three months of 2000.
Its marketing roster includes advertising agency Mortimer, Whittiker,
O’Sullivan, media buying agency MediaCom TMB and on-line media buying
agency Media Vision Integrated.