Abbey National hires ‘Diet Coke break’ marketer

Abbey National has appointed the marketer who presided over the popular “Diet Coke Break” ad campaign in the UK to a new post – head of brand marketing.

Bob Bayman, a former marketing controller for Coca-Cola and Schweppes Beverages, reports to Sara Weller, head of marketing at Abbey National.

The bank says the appointment is central to its long-term commitment to customers.

Bayman has experience in the packaged goods sector, which includes a stint at Unilever. Most recently, at Coca-Cola and Schweppes Beverages, he was responsible for the Diet Coke brand and oversaw the advertising campaign featuring a variety of male models stripping off for a refreshing drink in front of an admiring female audience.

An Abbey National spokesman says: “We wanted Bayman for his experience in the packaged goods sector. It is part of our drive to put the customer first.” Bayman’s boss Weller also has experience in the packaged goods sector, gained while at Mars.

Last week, Abbey National was criticised after announcing a &£5 charge to customers paying bills at its branch network, which it said was a means to improve service by reducing queue lengths.

Abbey National was the first building society to demutualise, converting to a bank in 1989.

It will also launch its first flexible pension in the summer, allowing customers to vary payments.

Keith Moor, marketing manager for advertising and media at Abbey National Retail, says the launch will be backed by a campaign worth “several million pounds”, created by Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper.

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