New role for Visa ’Kerching’ man

Visa International is shaking up its European marketing operation and moving Adrian New, the marketer behind the much criticised ’Kerching’ campaign, to be head of relationship marketing in the UK.

Visa International is shaking up its European marketing operation

and moving Adrian New, the marketer behind the much criticised

’Kerching’ campaign, to be head of relationship marketing in the UK.



New was previously senior vice-president for marketing services,

responsible for advertising, sponsorship and promotions across Europe,

with a budget of pounds 30m. He is to be replaced by an external

candidate.



No appointment has yet been made.



Visa is now understood to have dropped comedian Mel Smith as brand

spokesman for its UK debit card brand, Delta.



The ads, through Saatchi & Saatchi, were launched last year and featured

Smith as an aging pop star. They were voted the second most irritating

TV ads of 1996 in Marketing’s annual survey.



In his new post, New will oversee the recruitment of credit card issuers

while retaining existing ones. The newcomers are expected to include

Virgin Direct.



The changes come at a critical time for Visa. The card network faces

increasing competition from rival brands MasterCard and American

Express, which are committed to major above-the-line marketing spends

across Europe.



There are also a number of new operators in the UK, such as Tesco and

Goldfish.



New will also market Visa’s electronic purse system, Visa Cash, to UK

banks in the face of stiff competition from rival system Mondex, which

is backed by NatWest and Midland Bank in the UK.



Visa’s relationship with some of its member banks has been strained

recently, with NatWest opting to offer customers MasterCard and Amex

cards, as well as Visa.



New will report to Visa UK managing director Ken Bignal and replaces

Simon Jarvis who moves to Visa’s headquarters in the US.



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