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
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
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.