HSBC is restructuring its U.K. marketing operations and abolishing the head of digital marketing communications, a position currently held by Lisa Walker, reports MarketingWeek.
In January, Walker told MarketingWeek that the bank applies a policy of "ruthless integration" to its marketing campaigns and that in 2012 she expected to be "ruthlessly efficient with advertising." Walker had also told the magazine that she wants social media "to be a business channel for us, rather than being seen purely as a marketing and communications one" and that she would like it to be "taken as seriously as retail."
Now, however, HSBC will combine its online, offline and retail marketing divisions into one team, and will also combine the direct marketing and eCRM teams.
The restructuring comes soon after the bank announced it will cut over 2,200 jobs in the U.K. in a move to "eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy." In 2011, HSBC trimmed staff by almost 7,000 as part of Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver's plan to shed 30,000 jobs globally
The latest changes are not however expected to result in major job cuts.
Ascena Buys Lane Bryant Owner (DealBook)
Charming Shoppes, the owner of the Lane Bryant line of plus-size women's clothing, announced Wednesday it will sell itself to the Ascena Retail Group for about $890 million, or $7.35 a share, nearly 25% above the closing price of Charming Shoppes shares on Tuesday.
Mother's Day Sales Will Rise, Says Study (Apparel Magazine)
A new ShopperTrak report says consumers will buy 6% more in the run up to Mother's Day than they did last year. Mother's Day falls one week later this year, possibly giving consumers more time to replenish bank accounts depleted during Easter.
Gap Snaps Up H&M Veteran for Old Navy (RetailingToday)
H&M veteran, Stefan Larsson, will become Old Navy's first global brand president starting in October. Larsson worked for H&M for almost 15 years, most recently as head of global sales for the clothing retailer.
Starbucks Hires Former Defense Secretary (WSJ)
Starbucks has named former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to its 11-member board. Gates said Starbucks had kept him "caffeinated through many long days and nights during my years in Washington."
MillerCoors Cuts Ties with DraftFCB (Ad Age)
MillerCoors is cutting ties with lead creative agency DraftFCB, part of the Interpublic Group. A new multiagency group at WPP will handle digital and creative for Coors brands. Meanwhile, Heineken has consolidated global media planning and buying at Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest, reports Ad Age.
Keep it Simple, Stupid (FastCompany.com)
If your company isn't the market leader in simplicity, someone else will take that role, says Box Chief Executive Aaron Levie. His advice: create products and services that offer consumers the simplest experience.
Privacy Concerns over Online Advertising (MarketingWeek)
Jon Woods, president of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and general manager at Coca-Cola, says online behavioral advertising is "perhaps the most pressing" issue" faced by the industry. Later this month, the EU ePrivacy regulation will begin being implemented.
Buzz Around the Office
Obama's First Love Affair (BREITBART)
A new biography of Barack Obama by David Maraniss discusses the president's first love affair with an Australian woman named Genevieve Cook.
List of the Day: Learning to Negotiate
Negotiating can be an intimidating art, but you'll improve with practice.
1. When asking for a raise, give a specific number, not a range.
2. Look at it as a conversation with a peer, not an authority figure.
3. Don't be afraid to go back later if the answer is "no."
(Source: Business Insider)