Moneysupermarket.com

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Moneysupermarket.com Group PLC
Public (LSEMONY)
Founded 1993
Founder Simon Nixon
Headquarters Ewloe, Wales
Key people
Bruce Carnegie-Brown (Chairman of the board)
Simon Nixon (Founder)
Mark Lewis CEO
Revenue £329.7 million (2017)[1]
£94.9 million (2017)[1]
£78.1 million (2017)[1]
Website Moneysupermarket.com

Moneysupermarket.com Group PLC (LSEMONY) is a British price comparison website-based business specialising in financial services. The website enables consumers to compare prices on a range of products, including mortgages, credit cards and loans. The company also purchased MoneySavingExpert.com for £80 million from Martin Lewis in 2012, becoming a subsidiary of Moneysupermarket.

Moneysupermarket is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

History[edit]

Simon Nixon founded a two businesses in the mortgage market in the late 1980s, which eventually became Moneysupermarket. This began when he established a mortgage subscription business in 1987. Nixon was a student at the University of Nottingham studying accounting, while also working a job selling mortgages. While working in the role, he noticed after a number of months there was no easy way for brokers to compare all the mortgage deals available. He worked evenings and weekends setting up best-buy tables so he could send out information to those who required it. He began it as a free service, before charging subscriptions at £11 a fortnight. After two years in business, Nixon was earning £10,000 a month from his subscription business, offering mortgage advice via post.[2]

In 1989, he persuaded Duncan Cameron to quit is IT degree course at Liverpool University and assist him with expanding the business. Together they formed Mortgage 2000 just as computers and the Internet were becoming regular fixtures in offices across the UK. Mortgage 2000 was aimed at accounting firms and financial advisors who had access to the Internet. Instead of simply offering a fortnightly update via post, subscribers could log on and check deals real-time via Mortgage 2000. The stats were updated daily, rather than fortnightly.[2]

This expansion was hugely successful in the financial sector in the UK.[3] In the late 1990s, the Internet expanded from an office-based service into peoples homes. Nixon spoke to The Telegraph about spotting an opportunity when Freeserve began to offer free access to the Internet for homeowners in 1999 and saw a rapid expansion in Moneysupermarket from that point forward. Initially the website focused on a number of small comparison and sourcing markets for personal loans and credit cards.[4] Instead of providing Independent Financial Advisors with the information, Moneysupermarket.com was marketed as a business to consumer business to compliment their Mortgage 2000 offering.[2] Nixon and Duncan made commissions varying from 30p to £30 for different deals their users signed up for in the year days. As these figures began to add up, they shut Mortgage 2000 and began to offer mortgage comparisons on Moneysupermarket.com.[2]

This caused strain between the co-founders as Duncan was brought on board to run the IT side of Mortgage 2000. Once the potential for Moneysupermarket was realised, Mortgage 2000 only had limited potential. The focus away from Mortgage 2000 led Duncan to stop getting involved in the business in early 2002, but remained as a silent partner in the business.[5][6]

In 2000, Moneysupermarket announced their first major expansion with the launch of Travelsupermarket.com. The website ran in the same way as Moneysupermarket, but compared prices for a different market. Pricing for the travel market at the time wasn't consumer-friendly, often providing a "price from" advertisement. The initial goal of Travelsupermarket was to provide transparent pricing, describing the exact differences between the different prices provided.[7]

By 2006, the group earned pre-tax profits of £11.7 million on revenues of £105m.[2] A year later, The Guardian announced that the website was processing 52% of all the price comparisons in the UK.[6] In June 2007, Duncan Cameron sold his 47% stake in the business to co-founder Simon Nixon for £162 million.[8] The Guardian noted that for household and car insurance, price comparison websites such as moneysupermarket.com rarely include all products on the market and that price comparisons are consequently incomplete.[9] In 2007, The Guardian noted that for household and car insurance, price comparison websites such as moneysupermarket.com rarely include all products on the market and that price comparisons are consequently incomplete.[10]

In 2012, Moneysupermarket announced that they had purchased MoneySavingExpert.com in a deal worth £87 million. After the acquisition was completed in September of that year, MoneySavingExpert remained as an editorially independent platform, as part of the contractually binding Editorial Code.[11] Its founder, Martin Lewis, announced that he would remain as the chief editor of the platform.[12]

Moneysupermarket announced in 2015 that Martin Lewis would be selling 1.6% of his shares in Moneysupermarket, reducing his overall holdings in the company to 1.5%.[13][14] Moneysupermarket recruited a new chief executive in October 2016 to replace Peter Plumb, who would be leaving the group in May 2017. Mark Lewis was announced as the new chief executive and had previously served as retail director at John Lewis.[15] He was tipped to become its managing director before joining Moneysupermarket. In an interview with The Guardian he stated he wanted to return to digital retail after working with both CollectPlus and eBay previously.[16]

How it works[edit]

From 2003 to 2006, Moneysupermarket underwent a ninefold growth in traffic. This resulted in them deploying an enterprise management and monitoring system to track availability and increase internal understanding of the users' experience.[17]

Sites such as Moneysupermarket collect data directly from merchants used to find quotations for any given comparison market. Retailers can also supply Moneysupermarket with products and prices by manually submitting their own lists. These would then be matched up against the original database so their aren't any duplications.[18]

Data feed files can also be used to collect data. In this scenario, a merchant would provide Moneysupermarket with information electronically in a set format. Like other comparison shopping websites, Moneysupermarket has previously used third-party affiliate networks to receive information and aggregate data. Another method used is to crawl the web for prices. This effectively takes away the submission aspect of smaller merchants, while Moneysupermarket still provide their clients with accurate pricing. It was estimated that this method was initially used in the early days of price comparison.[19]

In recent years, comparison shopping websites such as Moneysupermarket have been able to use their inventory data to place retailer prices on a blog or content website as an advert. In return, the owner of that website will receive a commission percentage from Moneysupermarket. While this effects the overall commission earned by Moneysupermarket from merchants, it increases traffic and is now a common method used by comparison websites to drive traffic.[19]

Operations[edit]

Moneysupermarket[edit]

Simon Nixon founded Moneysupermarket.com, which is the main source of revenue for the Moneysupermarket group. Following the amalgamation of a number of companies dating back to 1989, Nixon formed the largest UK-based comparison website for insurance, finance, energy and a number of other markets. To date, it is the largest comparison website in the UK by revenue.[20]

Travelsupermarket[edit]

Travelsupermarket was founded in 2000, as a travel comparison website and subsidiary of the Moneysupermarket.com group. Initially it competed with sites such as Expedia and Skyscanner. In 2005, it was named the best online travel company in the UK.[21]

MoneySavingExpert[edit]

MoneySavingExpert.com is a subsidiary of the Moneysupermarket group, after it was acquired from Martin Lewis in 2012 for a deal in the region of £87 million. It was founded in February 2003, after Lewis believed the UK needed a resource to provide basic financial advice.[22] The site had grown to attract 13 million monthly users by 2012, with 7 million subscribers opting in to receive weekly emails.[23]

In 2013, the group announced the launch of the Cheap Energy Club by Moneysupermarket subsidiary, MoneySavingExpert.com. Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, stated in a number of interviews that he believed the energy market was broken. The service monitors the users energy tariff to ensure they are on the cheapest gas and electricity deal. The scheme requires the user to input data regarding your current energy tariffs and state the amount of saving for which you would be willing to switch providers. Tariffs that are available are then reviewed every month and you are notified when switching would trigger your target saving.[24]

Adverts[edit]

In 2010, adverts featured comedian Omid Djalili as the character of "HaggleHero".[25]

Then from 2011 to 2013 showed adverts such as man surfing on an inflatable crocodile, another man in a jungle with gorillas and another man going into space.[26] In August 2013 a new advert was launched showing a man named Bill running around Croydon with an army of cats whilst a spokesman played by James Lance saying that Bill is so Moneysupermarket.[27]

In January 2014, a new advert was launched featuring Snoop Dogg and his song "Who Am I (What's My Name)" features on the ad.[28]

In August 2014, another new advert was launched featuring the Epic Elephunk walks around the road of Manhattan city while Graeme is riding the Elephunk the Elephant's back, the narrator claiming he is so Money Supermarket, and the chosen soundtrack being "Word Up!" by Cameo on this ad.[29]

In January 2015, another advertising campaign was launched featuring a man named Dave (played by Michael Van Schoik), walking down a street in L.A, dressed in a shirt, suit jacket, denim hot pants and high heels. He alongside two other people, struts confidently to the song "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls, while showing off his prominent rear to stunned onlookers, including Sharon Osbourne.[30] It was later revealed by the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK to be the most complained about advert in 2015 with 1,513 complaints. In their ruling, the ASA found that whilst it may be distasteful to some, it did not judge the ad was offensive and the complaint was not upheld.[31]

In July 2015, another advert was launched. It shows a chubby construction worker named Colin (played by Kyle McIntire). He dances, gryates, does a worm dance and a split in front of his co-workers and the bemused office staff at the other building. The song featured in this ad is "Just a Little" by British pop group Liberty X. At the end of the advert, he also swings on a wrecking ball (a reference to the video of Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball).[32]

In January 2016, another TV campaign by agency Mother was launched featuring a bodyguard named Gary. The song featured in the ad is "Big Bad Wolf" by Duck Sauce, an American-Canadian DJ duo.[33]

In April 2016, another advert was released. It showed all three of the 'epic' people having a dance off in a car park. The song featured in the advert is "Worth It" by Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink. The ad premiered during the first break of Britains Got Talent.[34]

In March 2017, another advert featuring Skeletor dancing to the song "Time of My Life" from the film "Dirty Dancing" and also featuring He-Man was released.[35]

In March 2018, an advert featuring Action Man dancing to the song "Finally" by CeCe Peniston was released.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Moneysupermarket.com Group. Retrieved 27 March 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Hohler, Emily (July 8, 2007). "My first million: Simon Nixon of Moneysupermarket". MoneyWeek. 
  3. ^ Higgins, Ria (November 11, 2007). "A Life in the Day: Simon Nixon, internet entrepreneur". The Times. 
  4. ^ Thelwell, Emma (February 21, 2008). "Simon Nixon: UK's richest young entrepreneur". The Telegraph. 
  5. ^ Prosser, David (June 9, 2007). "Simon Nixon: Checkout tills ringing for internet guru". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Connon, Heather (July 22, 2007). "The man who made the tills ring at Moneysupermarket". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ Berman, Chloe (November 16, 2007). "Interview: Travelsupermarket.com commercial director Chris Nixon". Travel Weekly. 
  8. ^ Prosser, David (June 9, 2007). "Simon Nixon: Checkout tills ringing for internet guru". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2016. 
  9. ^ "Take care when using price comparison websites". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Take care when using price comparison websites". the Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Osborne, Hilary (June 1, 2012). "Martin Lewis sells MoneySavingExpert for £87m". The Guardian. 
  12. ^ "Martin Lewis sells MoneySavingExpert.com for £87m". BBC. June 1, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Martin Lewis nets £25m after selling Moneysupermarket.com shares". The Guardian. July 31, 2015. 
  14. ^ Cunningham, Tara (July 31, 2015). "Martin Lewis makes £25m from MoneySuperMarket share sale". The Telegraph. 
  15. ^ McClean, Paul (October 27, 2016). "Moneysupermarket names John Lewis retail director as chief". Financial Times. 
  16. ^ Kollewe, Julia (October 27, 2016). "Moneysupermarket appoints Mark Lewis as chief executive". The Guardian. 
  17. ^ Annesley, Christian (January 31, 2006). "Moneysupermarket plots usage for growth". Computer Weekly. 
  18. ^ "How The MoneySuperMarket Site Works". Moneysupermarket. 
  19. ^ a b Simon, Emma (March 8, 2011). "Comparison sites explained". The Telegraph. 
  20. ^ Ralph, Oliver (June 13, 2016). "Going gets tough for GoCompare the SuperMeerkat". Financial Times. 
  21. ^ "Results of the survey - Travel Awards 2005". The Telegraph. October 8, 2005. 
  22. ^ MoneySavingExpert.com, About
  23. ^ Jones, Ellen E (1 June 2012). "Martin Lewis sells MoneySavingExpert.com for £87m". The Independent. 
  24. ^ Gammell, Kara (February 4, 2013). "Moneysavingexpert.com launches 'Cheap Energy Club'". The Telegraph. 
  25. ^ "Watch Omid Djalili in Moneysupermarket.com ad". The Guardian. 30 December 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  26. ^ "Moneysupermarket 'surf' by Mother". Campaign Live. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  27. ^ "Moneysupermarket.com "running with cats" by Mother". Campaign Live. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  28. ^ "MoneySuperMarket Ad Featuring Snoop Dogg". You Tube. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  29. ^ "Moneysupermarket.com "epic elephunk" by Mother". Campaign Live. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2018. 
  30. ^ "Businessman's bizarre 'sexy' strut". The Sun. 17 January 2015. 
  31. ^ "2015's most complained about ads". ASA. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  32. ^ "MoneySupermarket follows 'epic strut' with pole-dancing builder". Campaign Live. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  33. ^ "Moneysupermarket.com "epic wolf" by Mother". Campaign. Haymarket Media Group. 2016-07-01. Retrieved 2016-03-02. Moneysupermarket.com's follow-up to last year's popular "epic strut" and "Colin" ads features a presidential bodyguard popping and locking to Duck Sauce's Big Bad Wolf. 
  34. ^ "The new Money Supermarket ad has debuted – and it features a bit of an epic dance off". Metro. DMG Media. 9 April 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  35. ^ "Skeletor Boogies to 'Fame' in Moneysupermarket's Latest 'Epic' Ad". 
  36. ^ "Moneysupermarket.com "Epic Action Man" by Mother". Campaign Live. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018. 

External links[edit]