Visa brand management head quits company

Joe Clift, Visa Europe head of brand management, has left the payments company after four years. It is not known if Clift, also a senior vice-president, has a job to go to.

A Visa spokesman says a replacement has yet to be made and Clift’s role is being split among a number of senior marketing executives. It is thought that head of marketing Mariano Dima will lead the recruitment process.

It is thought that Clift timed his departure to coincide with the end of its activity around the Olympics. The brand is a global sponsor of the games.

Clift joined Visa in 2004 as head of brand management, with responsibilities including advertising and agency relations. Prior to joining Visa he spent six years at internet and telecoms provider MCI WorldCom, rising to marketing communications director for Europe, Middle East and Asia. He also spent 15 years at WPP-owned Ogilvy & Mather, and Bassat, O&M’s agency in Madrid.

Under Clift’s tenure, Visa has launched the “Love every day” campaign, which was scrapped after two years in favour of “Life flows better with Visa” (MW.co.uk March 20). Both were created by Saatchi & Saatchi London.

Earlier this week, TBWA/Worldwide was appointed to handle Visa’s $600m advertising business globally outside of Europe. TBWA/Chiat/Day had already held the brand’s US account since 2005.

Visa Europe, a separate organisation to Visa which licenses its brand in the region, says its relationship with Saatchi & Saatchi remains unaffected.

Visa Europe conducted a review of its media planning and buying arrangements across Europe earlier this year, reappointing Mediaedge:cia.

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