As CIM nears the end of its 50 North East Marketing Greats, they invite you to meet Andrew Nicholson, Brand Director at Virgin Money. Virgin Money finds the North East a cost-effective place to do business and makes good use of the excellent transport links to its other key sites in London and Edinburgh.

The initiative aims to develop and retain marketing talent in the North East region.  Diane Earles, Network Manager for CIM, explains “‘Through the ‘Marketing Greats’ we want to provide insight into the importance of a strategic marketing function and to inspire both existing marketing professionals and young people considering a career in marketing.  Each ‘Marketing Great’ is profiled in an online case study which includes their words of wisdom for aspiring marketers alongside their career story and why they enjoy working in the region.”  She continued, “Developing our original ‘Great North East Brands’ initiative, which ran for a number of years, ‘Marketing Greats’ provides a regional platform for marketing to be recognised as having a key role in business growth while celebrating the number of senior marketers located in the North East.”

Like Andrew Nicholson, who joined Virgin Direct – the early incarnation of what is now the Virgin Money business – straight out of university. He moved through a range of roles across most marketing disciplines and ended up looking after marketing for the Virgin One account. After RBS acquired that business he spent time within the RBS Group launching a new consumer brand before returning to Virgin.  Andrew explained, “For the last few years at Virgin Money my focus has been our sponsorships, which include the London Marathon and Edinburgh Fringe, as well as supporting our community and social enterprise activity through Virgin Money Giving and the Virgin Money Foundation.”  He continued, “The acquisition of Northern Rock in 2012 gave the business a hugely talented and committed workforce in the North East. The broader resource pool is a huge asset in the region together with great new talent emerging from strong universities in the region.”

The 50 ‘North East Marketing Greats’ profiles can be found at