Eagle Star Direct executive to run Vodafone loyalty unit

Eagle Star Direct marketing manager Christian Taylor is to join Vodafone to head its loyalty marketing team.

Eagle Star has been hit by a spate of marketing exits prior to the merger with Zurich Insurance. Marketing director Steve Wigzell left in July, followed by director of marketing communications Mike Mintram and group marketing manager David Longdon.

The insurance company put its 12m brand revamp roll-out on hold earlier this year until the merger had taken place and management consultancy McKinsey’s was brought in to carry out an audit and find annual savings of 250m.

Taylor joined Eagle Star at the end of 1996 from Abbey National, where he was marketing manager for general insurance products.

Vodafone runs an Air Miles Advantage loyalty scheme and offers money off participants’ phone bills. Vodafone loyalty marketing executive Debbie Mitchell will report to Taylor.

The mobile phone operator created new marketing roles for its loyalty and pre-payment schemes earlier this year (MW May 7).

Vodafone’s latest subscriber figures for the quarter ending September 1998 showed 302,000 net new customers in the UK during the period, compared with 98,000 in the same period last year.

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