Pretty Polly chief takes top Sara Lee Euro role

Managing director of Pretty Polly UK Brian Duffy has been promoted to president of the brand’s parent company Sara Lee hosiery Europe.

Duffy is acclaimed as the man who updated Pretty Polly’s image, with hundreds of 30ft high posters featuring black stocking-clad legs.

In his previous role as general manager of Playtex, Duffy won a hard-fought legal wrangle with Courtaulds for the Wonderbra licence and changed the face of underwear advertising forever with the Eva Herzigova ‘Hello Boys’ campaign.

Duffy will tackle key markets in Germany, Italy and Spain from June 1 while retaining the UK role. He will be based in London. The post was previously based in Paris.

Duffy’s appointment will herald a significant increase in spend on hosiery in Europe by Sara Lee, which also owns the Elbeo brand.

Duffy says he intends to carve out a marketing-led niche in Europe for Pretty Polly by adopting many of the techniques that worked for the brand in the UK

He accepts that the European hosiery market will be tough to crack, as it is very strongly focused on fashion trends.

But he says: “We hit on a new formula for marketing hosiery, making it stand out in the UK by doing something different. We will try to bring some of the magic and success of UK marketing to Europe.”

The Pretty Polly brand is to be extended into underwear (MW August 14 1997) with the launch of Niks knickers this autumn.

Pretty Polly falls into Sara Lee’s personal products sector. The company also operates cakes, household bodycare and grocery divisions.

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