Pocket Phone Shop poaches head of marketing from rival operation

The Pocket Phone Shop has appointed rival The Carphone Warehouse marketer Isobel Merot-Blackie as head of marketing.

Merot-Blackie replaces Christine Shead – who left in May after nine months (MW May 27). She will be responsible for hiring an advertising agency for the company’s first brands push, as well as formulating a marketing strategy and recruiting a marketing department.

Shead left mid-way through an ad agency review, which Merot-Blackie will resume later this year. She hopes to make an appointment in the last quarter of 1999. Merot-Blackie says: “There will certainly be another pitch, but we won’t start the whole process again.”

Pocket Phone Shop founder and managing director Simon Jordon postponed the review pending Shead’s replacement. Pitches from McCann-Erickson and J Walter Thompson, among others, had already been seen.

Merot-Blackie will recruit a team of eight, comprising a brand controller, advertising executive, marketing analyst, three merchandisers, a print and production manager and marketing assistant.

She had been on a temporary contract at The Carphone Warehouse as marketing communications manager, after working with The Body Shop.

Slough-based 130-store Pocket Phone Shop is embarking on an ambitious expansion plan to rival Charles Dunstone’s The Carphone Warehouse empire. Both chains intend to have 200 mobile phone stores open by the millennium.

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