Virgin jeans arm hit by sudden exit of marketer

Mark Blenkinsop, the former Pepe Jeans European marketing director who left to oversee the launch of Virgin jeans, has quit Virgin only six months after his appointment.

His sudden departure follows last month’s appointment of Lesley Angus as international marketing director for the brand.

Blenkinsop has been reporting to Angus, who joined from Disney Stores, where he was marketing director (MW January 17).

Blenkinsop was poached from Pepe Jeans last July (MW July 26 1996) where he had been European marketing director since 1994.

Since his arrival, Virgin has done extensive market research into the new jeans brand and has looked into setting up its own clothing stores.

It is launching the jeans later this year in direct competition to Levi’s, Wrangler and Pepe.

Since Blenkinsop’s departure from Pepe, the company has axed his former post.

He was the man responsible for Pepe’s controversial “teenage suicide” campaign that was investigated by the Independent Television Commission in 1995.

Virgin is among a number of new players, including Budweiser and Guess, launching into the UK jeans market this year.

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