Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Sensible Money - Jim Hytner Group Brand and UK Banking Marketing Director, Barclays

Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Sensible Money - Jim Hytner Group Brand and UK Banking Marketing Director, Barclays

Article excerpt

Outgoing marketing and commercial director at ITV, Jim Hytner, usually loves to court controversy. He's the man who brought us those Channel 5 idents featuring Keith Chegwin nude. He is also renowned for his cheeky sideswipes at arch-rival the BBC.

Today he's uncharacteristically worried. His nervousness is understandable: he's being quizzed about his appointment as Barclays' top marketer (starting in October) in front of a watchful Barclays PR that he's only just met.

Reminded that he recently said learning was better than sex (referring to his intensive management course at Wharton Business School in the US), Hytner, 39, looks embarrassed. 'Did I say that? I don't think they'll like that at Barclays. I've been able to get away with this in TV.'

It seems odd that someone like Hytner - an instinctive TV marketer who has thrived in the broadcast limelight - should opt to take up a post in the traditionally stuffy banking sector. But he insists the Barclays offer was 'a marketer's dream'. Industry sources speculate that Hytner wants to add more gravitas to his CV, possibly in preparation for a senior TV management role further down the line.

So what was the attraction of Hytner for Barclays? It's not the first time the high-street brand has raided the media industry to hire a top marketer: Hytner's predecessor, Simon Gulliford, was poached from Emap.

But the style of the two men is very different. Gulliford is felt to have effected a 'quiet revolution' at Barclays, overhauling its marketing operations and launching the 'fluent in finance' campaign. Hytner's approach is more upfront and confrontational.

Gwyn Jones, managing director of Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), which has both Barclays and ITV as clients, believes Hytner's appointment represents a natural evolution for the bank. 'Barclays is not as stuffy as you might think, and Gulliford has helped on this front,' he says. 'Now it's ready for the impact that someone like Hytner can make.'

Hytner sees his mission at Barclays as stopping the public from hating banking brands. He says: 'Barclays is number one, but it is despised. I relish challenges that people don't think can be met.'

And Hytner scoffs at the idea that banking is dull. …

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