Ex-Rothmans man nets top Virginia role

The Virginia Tobacco Company has appointed ex-Rothmans marketing manager Phil Kennedy to the new post of sales and marketing director. He has a brief to expand Virginia’s client base.

The Oxford-based company, which has a 60m annual turnover, already has contracts to supply retail chains such as Waitrose, Safeway, Kwiksave and Morrisons with “exclusive” label cigarettes and rolling tobacco.

Its cigarette brands include Oscars, sold in Waitrose, and the Conway and Buckingham brands, sold in Kwiksave.

These “exclusive” labels are traditionally positioned at the economy end of the market, where marketing strategy centres on price and visibility. But according to sources, one of the largest supermarket groups is considering launching an upmarket exclusive label which would be in line with its shop profile.

Kennedy, who has previously worked at Philip Morris, RHM and Pillsbury, will report to The Virginia Tobacco Company’s managing director George Mackin.

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