Insurance giant AXA has poached Land Rover brand director Andy Hurst to fill the new post of director of brand development.
Hurst, the marketer responsible for the car manufacturer's 'Released into the wild' ads, will work on AXA's brand strategy and will leverage awareness of the brand created by its sponsorship of the FA Cup. He will report to Andy Homer, AXA Insurance's chief executive, who also oversees brand development issues.
Hurst has worked at Land Rover for four years. He was behind the launches of the series two Discovery in 1998 and Freelander in 1997.
He is replaced by Peter Lowe, general manager of Land Rover's 3D Experience division, a role that involves working on motor show activity, new launches and sponsorship. Lowe will report to John Edwards, Land Rover's global marketing director.
Hurst said: 'The AXA brand has grown significantly over the past two years and the FA Cup sponsorship has made a major contribution to AXA brand awareness for the man on the street. Now it's time to build on that success, establishing alignment of our proposition and marketing.'
Last year AXA centralised its direct marketing business into Rapier and its creative account into TBWA/London.
In August it consolidated its media planning and buying account, worth about pounds 20m, into Optimum Action. The work was previously handled by Universal McCann Manchester for AXA Direct, MediaCom Direct for AXA SunLife Direct, BMP Solutions in Media for AXA SunLife and Motive for the PPP Healthcare brand.
Sun Life and Provincial Holdings, which had been 56%-owned by AXA, changed its name to AXA UK after AXA bought the remaining shares in the company in July.