First Direct brand marketer joins M&S

Marks & Spencer Financial Services has poached First Direct head of brand marketing Nick Bowyer to head its marketing team.

Marks & Spencer Financial Services has poached First Direct head of brand marketing Nick Bowyer to head its marketing team.

As head of marketing, Bowyer will report to sales and marketing director Alistair Milne, and work alongside Chris Larkin, head of brand and communications.

Bowyer joined First Direct, the online and telephone banking arm of HSBC, in 1999 as head of marketing innovations. In his recent role as head of brand marketing, he was responsible for developing the brand, advertising and the company’s e-business strategy.

Prior to joining First Direct, Bowyer worked on the development and launch of Smile, the internet banking subsidiary of the Co-operative Bank, as head of personal marketing.

First Direct brand communications manager Matthew Higgins is caretaking Bowyer’s role and overseeing the bank’s advertising. In particular, he is continuing with a project launched by Bowyer to feature the bank’s customers in its next advertising campaign. The ads, which launch this quarter, are aimed at building on what it claims is its reputation as “the world’s most recommended bank”. Previous advertising over the past six years used the comedy duo Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.

M&S Financial Services is reviewing its brand identity to bring it closer in line with the core M&S brand. As part of the review, it is considering alternative names for the business, one of which is understood to be M&S Money.

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