Calls for Halifax to reinstate their jolly frontman Howard Brown amid pronoun furore


#BringBackHoward! Calls for Halifax to reinstate their jolly frontman who danced to Tom Jones’ Sex Bomb in the glory days of bank’s advertising campaigns amid pronoun badge furore

  • Customer sales representative Howard Brown was propelled to national fame
  • He won a competition to front Halifax adverts, with first one in the year 2000
  • Howard  left the bank in 2011, three years after his TV stints came to an end
  • Halifax provoked fury with decision to allow staff to display pronouns on badges
  • They then caused further upset by telling customers they can leave the bank 

He was the man who promised to ‘give you extra’ whilst dancing to the tune of Tom Jones’s Sex Bomb. 

Customer sales representative Howard Brown was propelled to national fame after fronting Halifax TV adverts for eight years from the year 2000. 

But now, after the bank was engulfed in a wave of criticism for telling customers they can leave if they don’t like their new pronoun policy for staff badges, some have called for Howard’s return. 

The row began this week when Halifax, which was propped up by the taxpayer to the tune of £30billion as part of a 2008 bailout, tweeted its 118,000 followers on Tuesday revealing that it would allow staff to display their pronouns on their name badges, in a post that read ‘pronouns matter’.

It showed a photo of a female staff member’s name badge, which featured ‘she/her/hers’ in brackets under the name Gemma, and said the policy was to help avoid ‘accidental misgendering’.

In response to customers furious at the policy, staff member Andy M, replied: ‘If you disagree with our values, you’re welcome to close your account’.

Hundreds claimed they will boycott the bank, with many others saying they had already closed their accounts. 

Customers then called for Howard’s return. One wrote : ‘Bring back Howard Brown. He could teach AndyM a thing or two about customer relations.’ 

Another wrote: ‘Bring back singing Howard. The Halifax has gone to pot since he left.’

Howard, who won a competition to front Halifax’s adverts, left the bank in 2011, three years after his TV appearances came to an end. 

He has since tried to keep his fame alive by appearing on TV programme First Dates and acting as a brand ambassador for a Glasgow-based start-up. 

He was the man who promised to 'give you extra' whilst dancing to the tune of Tom Jones's Sex Bomb. Howard Brown was propelled to national fame after fronting Halifax TV adverts for eight years from the year 2000

He was the man who promised to ‘give you extra’ whilst dancing to the tune of Tom Jones’s Sex Bomb. Howard Brown was propelled to national fame after fronting Halifax TV adverts for eight years from the year 2000

One customer said: 'Bring back Howard Brown. He could teach AndyM a thing or two about customer relations'

One customer said: ‘Bring back Howard Brown. He could teach AndyM a thing or two about customer relations’

Another user wrote: 'Bring back Howard Brown'. The star has not worked for the bank since 2011

Another user wrote: ‘Bring back Howard Brown’. The star has not worked for the bank since 2011

Howard, who worked in a Halifax branch in Sheldon, Birmingham, beat 4,000 other applicants to front Halifax’s TV campaign.  

Howard’s rendition of Sex Bomb came in his first advert for the firm. 

He was seen holding a fish aloft and singing: ‘Extra, extra, I know you want more. 

‘I’ll give you something extra when you walk through my door. Extra, Extra, though I cannot deny. Terms and conditions apply.’  

Howard then appeared in seven other adverts for the bank, including one in which he sank ‘I’ll give you extra’ to the tune of Angel by pop star Shaggy. 

He was also seen straddling a giant swan while performing Gene Kelly’s Singing In The Rain umbrella dance routine.

Other users on Twitter also called for Howard's return. One wrote: 'Bring back singing Howard. The Halifax has gone to pot since he left'

Other users on Twitter also called for Howard’s return. One wrote: ‘Bring back singing Howard. The Halifax has gone to pot since he left’

Another made a reference to former jewellery boss Gerald Ratner, who made the share price of his firm plummet when he branded one of their own products 'total crap'

Another made a reference to former jewellery boss Gerald Ratner, who made the share price of his firm plummet when he branded one of their own products ‘total crap’

But Howard’s stint fronting commercials came to an end when Halifax pulled its television campaign. 

He left the bank in 2011 after a stint in its public relations department. 

The star made a cameo return to adverts by appearing in a commercial for Hotels.com in 2017. 

He lists his occupation on LinkedIn as a ‘TV & Media Personality’.  

He is currently based in the West Midlands and is a brand ambassador for Nude, a Glasgow-based firm that runs a smartphone app for first-time buyers. 

In February 2020, he appeared on Channel 4 show First Dates. 

He met with a receptionist named Bev, who said her ideal man was ‘Idris Elba’. 

Howard Brown is seen performing in a Halifax advert. The role made him a national star

Howard Brown is seen performing in a Halifax advert. The role made him a national star

Howard is seen fronting another advert. The star beat 4,000 other applicants to front Halifax's TV campaign

Howard is seen fronting another advert. The star beat 4,000 other applicants to front Halifax’s TV campaign

Animated: The company even turned Mr Brown into a computer generated character to promote its offers

Animated: The company even turned Mr Brown into a computer generated character to promote its offers

The star made a cameo return to adverts by appearing in a commercial for Hotels.com in 2017

The star made a cameo return to adverts by appearing in a commercial for Hotels.com in 2017

He has since tried to keep his fame alive by appearing on TV programme First Dates in 2020

He has since tried to keep his fame alive by appearing on TV programme First Dates in 2020

Howard, from Sheldon, Birmingham said in an interview last year with LadBible that his first day back at work in his home city after his initial advert appearance was ‘unbelievable’. 

‘I mean, I couldn’t get in, they had to sneak me around the back. I had to climb over the fence to get in, there were that many people,’ he said. 

He told how he was put in ‘safe house’ by his bosses after the level of publicity meant that branches where he was working had to be closed. 

Howard said that, when at his own home, he had school children knocking on his door saying: ‘Where’s Howard? We want to see Howard’. 

The TV star also appeared in a Christmas special episode of Ricky Gervais’s comedy series The Office.

His current role with Nude sees him take on the role of a ‘human cash mashine’, and he is seen giving away money to first-time buyers.  

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