Cable & Wireless Communications has scrapped its central marketing department, in a move which cuts its marketing staff in half – from 95 to 50.
It is the clearest indication yet of CWC’s shift in emphasis from brand to product marketing.
The move comes as CWC hands the below-the-line account for its consumer unit, thought to be worth as much as 40m, to Grey Integrated. The agency pitched against WWAV Rapp Collins, Evans Hunt Scott and Tullo Marshall Warren (MW January 15).
The 45 marketing posts have been axed as a result of the merger of the central marketing – which is the big loser – and consumer business divisions.
All central marketing posts have been axed but only a handful of jobs will be lost from the consumer division.
Staff whose positions have been scrapped are on a three-month redeployment scheme, with an opportunity to apply for positions within the new department.
The marketing department merger – part of the optimum resource review which sparked 1,500 redundancies across CWC’s UK operation – was one reason for the departure of marketing director Helen Burt (MW March 12).
Central marketing controlled brand advertising and was responsible for the 50m launch of CWC last September. The consumer business division is responsible for marketing mass products, residential television and telecoms to about 2 million of the company’s 2.1 million customers.
A CWC spokesman says there was “inevitable tension” between the central and consumer units.
One was dealing with a huge brand development spend, while the other handled mass-market customers, which represented 90 per cent of the business. He adds that the initial brand launch spend was always viewed as a one-off.
Sources suggest senior marketing management will be guaranteed positions in the new team, but its revamped structure has yet to be decided. The overall 100m marketing budget is likely to be reduced this year.