Vision Express growth plan triggers top exit

Plans by Vision Express, the quick service optician chain, to boost the role of marketing at the company have led to the departure of marketing director Nick Hamley.

Hamley left at the end of last month after turning down the job of deputy to a new international marketing director which the company is looking to hire.

He had been with the chain for over 18 months and appointed agency McCann-Erickson Bristol in June last year to the company’s 6m advertising account.

Vision Express chief operating officer Gary Tillman says the company plans to increase its 8m marketing budget and to devise more varied advertising.

“We want to enlarge the marketing department and Hamley would have taken second position, which he declined. We are trying to upgrade the service and are looking for a dynamic approach.”

Tillman says the chain will move away from constant promotions to a more branded strategy.

The new international marketing director will decide whether to review the advertising account.

Vision Express offers a one-hour turnaround service for glasses at more than 80 optical stores around the UK, and plans to open a further 150 stores over the next five years. It is also expanding abroad, including into Eastern Europe.

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