Standard Life to cut jobs in marketing

Standard Life is restructuring its marketing department and making several redundancies as part of its preparations to demutualise.

The company is still in discussions and says it cannot disclose the number of marketers who will lose their jobs. New Standard Life group chief executive Sandy Crombie warned in March that the business would be repositioned and costs cut by 20 per cent.

Standard Life previously had four marketing directors grouped by marketing discipline reporting to managing director of marketing Simon Douglas.

Following the retirement of one marketing director, Simon Shearer, who oversaw underwriting, the three remaining marketing directors will be allocated to a specific product area.

Martin Slater becomes marketing director for protection products. He will retain his previous responsibility for overall brand and advertising issues.

Barry O’Dwyer continues as marketing director for pensions and Michael Leahy as marketing director for savings and investments. However, both will now have responsibility for their own marketing communications.

Standard Life is running a TV campaign, with the strapline “I like Standard Life”, created by The Leith Agency (MW October 2, 2003). The company also uses a variety of other agencies on a project basis.

Standard Life, Europe’s largest mutual, took the industry by surprise with the announcement earlier this year that it would demutualise by 2006. The decision followed heavy losses resulting from a stock market slump and intense scrutiny from the regulator about Standard’s solvency.

Overall, 1,000 jobs in all departments will be lost.

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