Hertz raids Abbey National for new head of marketing

Hertz has poached Abbey National marketer Jean Burke to become head of UK marketing, with a brief to increase the car hire company’s rentals in the leisure sector.

Burke was previously head of customer proposition development at Abbey National. Before that, she was head of direct marketing at Thomas Cook Retail.

Burke will oversee consumer and business marketing for the group and will report to Hertz UK general manager Neil Cunningham. Hertz’s main rivals are Avis and Arriva, but it has recently come under pressure in Europe from discount car hire companies targeting the leisure sector. These include Easyrentacar, part of the Easy group, which hires out cars for a basic £9 per day and only takes bookings over the Internet.

Hertz’s £1.5m advertising account is handled by TBWA/London. Booth Lockett Makin handles the media account.

The Hertz Corporation operates a global rental fleet of 525,000 vehicles, from 6,500 locations in 140 countries. Its worldwide revenue is split equally between business and leisure travellers and 80 per cent of its car rentals are picked up at airports.

Ford Motor Company, which partially spun off Hertz in 1997 after an initial public offering, owns about 81 per cent of the company, but recently offered to buy back the remaining share.

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