Restructure sparks exit of Britannia boss

Alan Long, head of marketing at the Britannia Building Society – the UK’s second largest – has left the company following a restructure of the marketing department.

Long’s deputy Dominic Facci is acting as head of marketing until the society finds a replacement. It is not known whether Long has a job to go to.

A spokesman for Britannia says the restructure means the marketing department loses control over affinity marketing – co-branded financial services products, such as the mortgages link-up with Manchester United football club. This will be incorporated into the internet and call centre departments. Paul Buckley has been promoted to head of direct channels in charge of these areas.

Managing director of member business Tim Franklin is responsible for the building society’s advertising. Franklin oversaw the review of the society’s above-the-line advertising at the end of 2003, which resulted in the business moving from Walsh Trott Chick Smith to McCann Erickson Manchester without a pitch (MW November 27, 2003). McCann-Erickson Manchester already held the society’s below the line account.

Britannia, with 2.1 million members, is the second-largest building society in the UK after Nationwide.

A year ago, Britannia returned to television advertising for the first time since May 2002. The campaign sought to differentiate it from rivals by stressing its mutual status (MW March 11, 2004)). The “Mmmutual” execution featured a Britannia financial adviser, prospective client, cleaning lady and other characters sharing a giant Victoria sponge cake.

In the 12 months to September 2004, Britannia spent £3.1m above the line, according to Nielsen Media Research. Media planning and buying is through Manning Gottlieb OMD.

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