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