New BT post to centralise communications

BT is to create a marketing communications role to oversee the marketing of both its business and consumer divisions.

The position would recreate a central point for the marketing of the two divisions, which has been absent since the Customer Communications Unit (CCU) was disbanded over a year ago.

Kate Notman, appointed general manager and head of offers and communications three weeks ago, is now acting in the role of marketing director. She was appointed by business division managing director Afshin Mohebbi following his promotion from marketing director. A formal appointment is not expected by BT insiders “for a few months”.

By then the marketing communications role may have been established. Sources within the company say it is in this role that business and consumer marketing functions will be concentrated, rather than through a physical merger of the consumer and business marketing divisions.

One insider says since the break up of the CCU, which oversaw the brand message, BT’s output has been “schizophrenic”.

Both consumer division acting marketing director Peter Conway and UK group managing director Bill Cockburn are believed to favour the reinstatement of a centralised role, but a return to the size of the CCU’s 75-strong team is unlikely.

A source within the company says there will be some joint business and consumer marketing initiatives in the autumn: “But there is a difference between marketing and marketing communications, which is more likely to have a centralised role.”

In addition, the Interactive Multimedia Services (IMS) unit, under John Swingewood, has moved from BT’s consumer division to the business division under Mohebbi.

A BT spokesman says the unit is a “better natural fit” within the business division and is not expected to signal a deluge of unit-swapping.

The unit is responsible for multimedia services such as BT Internet, Line One, interactive video, Web TV and intranet.

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