Marketing chief quits jeans giant

VF Corporation, parent of jeans brands including Lee and Wrangler, has lost its marketing director for Northern Europe, just one month after he was appointed.

Peter Abbiss was appointed to the new role in April (MW April 16), as part of a restructure of the company’s European marketing operation. He is moving to Niceman Merchandising Europe, the worldwide licensee of brands which include Ferrari, where he is to be international sales and marketing director.

The decline of the UK denim market has hit sales of both Wrangler and Lee. The restructure at VF began last January, when David Smith, formerly Wrangler European marketing director, was appointed VF Europe marketing director. This move followed the resignation of former Lee European marketing director Derek Woodgate (MW January 22).

Abbiss took the top UK marketing role when he was appointed VF marketing director for Northern Europe. The Lee UK marketing manager position, held by Ian Morris, was axed. Tim Henshall, Wrangler UK marketing manager, became VF marketing controller in the restructure.

A spokeswoman for VF refuses to comment on whether a replacement for Abbiss will be sought.

David Smith hired US start-up agency Fallon McElligott to handle its 12m Lee advertising account in April.

The appointment followed a review out of Grey Advertising. Wrangler advertising, featuring jean-wearing rodeo riders, is through AMV.BBDO.

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