Comet’s ad chief to quit in shake-up

Comet director of communications Len Whitlock, who controlled the Kingfisher subsidiary’s advertising, has resigned and will leave the electrical retailer at the end of January.

Whitlock, who has been with Comet for three years, is not thought to have another job. It is understood that the parting is amicable.

The move comes after a radical shake-up at Comet, which was designed to halt a period of decline: in the year to January, Comet suffered losses of 2m.

In July, Comet demoted its managing director, Brent Wilkinson, to commercial director (MW July 28). Following a series of top-level changes, the position of managing director was abolished.

Former chairman Eddie Styring was brought back to the chain in February after a six-year absence, taking on the role of chairman and chief executive.

It is understood that Styring was primarily responsible for moving the Comet account out of Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO and into Saatchi & Saatchi in July. Media moved to Zenith, which had just lost the media buying for Comet’s rival, Dixons.

Kingfisher is reviewing its 70m centralised media business, held by Zenith. The portfolio also includes B&Q, Woolworths, Superdrug and Staples.

Whitlock is on the panel which will select from the pitchlist one of the five agencies – Zenith, TMD Carat, CIA Medianetwork, Mediastar and MediaCom.

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