Management reshuffle at Virgin Direct

Virgin Direct, the life, PEPs and pensions business, has restructured its management team and set up a separate marketing unit for its direct bank Virgin One.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the former Virgin Direct operations director, becomes managing director of Virgin One, with responsibility for the banking operation’s 6m advertising budget.

Virgin Direct head of advertising Jo Barnett also switches to Virgin One as ad chief. The banking division, employing 200, has been hived off to a separate building on the Norwich business park which houses Virgin Direct.

Virgin One launched its first product – a controversial bank account which wraps daily banking, loans, insurance and mortgages into one account – to existing Virgin Direct customers in October 1997. The account is administered by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

A 2m campaign, created by TBWA Simons Palmer, launched Virgin One to the general public last weekend with national press, radio and poster advertising.

Barnett says: “We are planning to run TV advertising in a few months but it would be crazy to start with TV. We need to maintain the level of service over the phone.”

Virgin One refuses to reveal the number of customers it has signed up for the bank account but claims to have 250m of lending already.

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