ITV lures P&G Euro chief

Senior P&G marketer joins Richard Eyre’s new line-up as ITV attempts to ease advertiser fears.

ITV’s new marketing and commercial director is John Hardie, presently Procter & Gamble’s managing director for cosmetics and toiletries brands across Europe.

Hardie, who has worked at P&G for the past 14 years, joins ITV at the beginning of November. He has headed European operations for Max Factor, Cover Girl, Oil of Ulay, German-based brand Ellen Betrix and Old Spice since he became managing director last year.

The long-awaited announcement from ITV chief executive Richard Eyre has been one of the best kept secrets in the TV industry this year.

Advertisers are pinning their hopes on Eyre and his new senior management line-up – director of programmes David Liddiment, head of planning and strategy David Bergg and now Hardie – to overhaul the Network Centre in the face of mounting concern over ITV’s declining audience share.

Eyre says: “On my first day in the company I promised advertisers we would give them a voice at the most senior level. In John Hardie, we have a heavyweight marketer in his own right, as well as an experienced businessman with a full understanding of the role of ITV for advertisers.”

Hardie, 35, joined P&G as a brand manager and was promoted to various positions within the company, including UK marketing director.

He says: “I intend to combine my business and marketing skills with my passionate interest in the little square box.”

Bob Wootton, director of media services at the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, says: “Advertisers should be pleased.”

P&G, normally an intensely secretive company, has been an outspoken critic of ITV. Senior management has attacked the trading mechanism of station average price, and called for increased minutage to control media inflation.

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