British Gas appoints HBOS man as marketing chief

British Gas has appointed HBOS marketer Rick Vlemmiks as marketing director. It comes as current marketing chief Chris Jansen is promoted to a commercial and strategy-focused role.

Vlemmiks, who joins on December 1, will take on responsibility for advertising, brand management, customer insight and communication. He will report to British Gas managing director Phil Bentley (pictured).

In February, Jansen added marketing responsibilities to his role as managing director of the energy division (MW February 1). The move followed the departure of former marketing director Amanda Mackenzie to insurance company Aviva in January.

Jansen will take on the additional role of strategy and commercial director, with responsibility for pricing and propositions, online, sales and corporate responsibility.

He will also continue managing the utility giant’s Premier Energy division, a role he has held since 2005.

It is understood that Jansen will still have an “input” in British Gas’ marketing, but sources suggest he is being groomed for a more managerial role.

Vlemmiks is currently head of marketing at HBOS, where he has been responsible for brands including Halifax, Intelligent Finance, Bank of Scotland and Sainsbury’s Finance.

Prior to joining HBOS in 2006, he held a number of roles at Mars, including European brand director for M&M’s. Vlemmiks was associate brand manager for Pampers at Procter & Gamble until 1996. He has also worked at Rolls Royce.

At the start of this year, British Gas said it planned to double its 2008 advertising spend to £70m, following price hikes. In February, it launched its first brand campaign since 2004, to encourage consumers to fill in its Energy Savers’ Report (MW February 21).

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