The Scottish Widow has returned

Gabriella Griffith
THE WORLD’S most recognisable cape is back. No, not Batman, the Scottish Widow, obviously.

Following a four-year hiatus, the insurance giant’s famous lady in black is back with a fresh new face and an ad campaign due to hit our small screens in February, as part of a drive by Lloyds to revamp the brand.

Amber Martinez will be the fourth lady to play the widow since the brand started using the iconic figure 27 years ago. She’s not Scottish, or a widow, but a 24 year-old model from Hertfordshire (married to her childhood sweetheart).

Those of you who find her familiar may recognise her from her modelling work for M&S, Boots and Simple Skincare but Martinez says she’s delighted to be the latest widow: “I grew up admiring the Scottish Widow and am honoured to have the opportunity to carry on such an iconic role,” she said.

Perhaps she’s right to be excited, with such a low turnover (four ladies, 27 years) it must be a great job. And you can see why. It’s a brand with heritage (100 years old next year). David Bailey shot the first commercial back in 1986 and looking at the previous ladies, the role can lead to great things.

According to Lloyds, this time around the widow will have a change from her usual mise-en-scene of misty cliffs and will instead be in “a more modern context”.

We’ll have to wait until next month to see exactly what this means. Shopping in Sainsbury’s? At a cash point on Oxford Street?

“The Scottish Widow embodies all the qualities that are important to our brand – stability, protection, progression and a consistent and caring presence,” said Catherine Kehoe, managing director, retail brands and marketing, Lloyds Banking Group.

She certainly has a presence, The Capitalist isn’t sure how protected she’d feel if she met her down a dark alley, though.


Daughter of Sir Roger Moore, Deborah became the first widow in 1986 in a commercial shot by David Bailey.

She stayed in the role until 1994 and has continued acting, starring in Bond movie Die Another Day (like father like daughter) and recently Sherlock.

Amanda first donned the black cloak in 1994 and appeared in nine Scottish Widow ads before becoming a TV presenter in 2005.

Amanda has presented A Place In The Sun, You Deserve This House and will appear in Selling Houses on More4 in March.

Storm model Hayley took over from Amanda in 2005 and appeared on our screens until 2010 when the cloak was hung up for four years.

A mother of three, Hayley continues her fashion career with other projects in the health, beauty and fitness industries.