Pru chief quits as role is split

Prudential, the UK’s largest life assurance and pensions company, has become the latest major consumer brand to lose its group marketing chief, after axing its central marketing operation.

Prudential, the UK’s largest life assurance and pensions company,

has become the latest major consumer brand to lose its group marketing

chief, after axing its central marketing operation.



Paul McGrane, Prudential’s marketing and strategy director, resigned

last week following a review which resulted in his responsibilities

being split between separate company divisions.



As part of the shake-up, a new retail operation, Prudential Retail, has

been created, containing the salesforce, direct operations and customer

service unit.



Former head of customer development Claire Salmon has been appointed

consumer marketing director for Prudential Retail, responsible for

co-ordinating brand and product marketing activity. However, it is not

clear whether she will head the marketing of Prudential Bank.



McGrane had been responsible for marketing across Prudential’s pensions

and assurance operations, Prudential Bank and Scottish Amicable. He was

recruited two years ago while chief executive of Carlton Communication’s

home entertainment division in a bid to clarify Prudential’s confused

public image.



He oversaw the reintroduction of the company’s famous ’Man from the Pru’

campaign featuring chief executive Peter Davis. The ads, which aimed to

build a trustworthy image, were blighted by controversy as it emerged

that Prudential had been more heavily involved in the pensions

mis-selling scandal than at first thought.



The changes come as Prudential prepares to give its direct banking

operation a higher profile. The company, which spent pounds 17.6m on

advertising last year through Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, is believed to

be seeking a separate agency for the banking business and is ready to

spend up to pounds 8m. Scottish Amicable is expected to keep control of

its own marketing.



A Prudential spokeswoman said McGrane had decided to leave when it

became clear that his role had been diminished.