On the back of the success of its new internet operation, Direct Line is to launch a £2 million advertising campaign promoting its web site: directline.com.
The campaign, a two-month blitz on television, the national press, billboards and the London Underground, runs in February and March and coincides with further web product launches.
Since Direct Line went on-line with its motor, rescue and home insurance products in September, the company has recorded more than seven million page impressions from 540,000 individual visitors.
From these visitors, Direct Line says it has given out 135,000 quotes. Although it declined to say how many of these had translated into new business, the insurer said the project had exceeded expectations.
The £2m investment will take the shape of a consumer campaign focusing on how it takes only two minutes to get an insurance quote on-line alongside the launch of "quote and buy" products.
To help push the initiative forward, the insurer has also appointed its first e-commerce managing director. Oliver Prill, previously a senior project manager at management consultant McKinsey.
"Direct Line is set to become a leading force on-line," said Prill. "The initial success of directline.com makes our estimate of 15% of motor insurance being bought on-line by 2003 look increasingly conservative."
Direct Line has set up the web site so that customers can complete every stage of an application up to the credit card stage where they have the choice of continuing on-line or transferring to complete the deal with call centre staff.
Prill also claimed that because the internet would enhance company profile, Direct Line's phone service would not be adversely affected by the success of its internet operation.