Sainsbury’s held a conference for its buyers last week to give them a chance to meet the chain’s new marketing director, Kevin McCarten, who starts in January. He was to answer their questions about new marketing initiatives for the chain, and prime them for the battle ahead.
Unfortunately, McCarten’s current employer, Woolworths, where he is trading director, was not prepared to let him leave its offices.
Instead, Woolworths agreed to let McCarten speak to the conference via a satellite link. “He sat there and answered questions on the television screen,” says one insider. “It was just like Mastermind.”
Let’s hope for Sainsbury’s sake, McCarten is an expert on his specialist subject – UK grocery marketing from 1996 onwards.