QXL scraps marketing in favour of sales drive

QXL UK, the online auction company, has decided not to splash out on major ad campaigns and will not seek a replacement for its recently departed marketing director.

The move came as another online venture, toy retailer EToys, announced it would be closing its UK and European operations with the loss of 47 jobs.

Marketing director James Bidwell was not available for comment and it is not known whether he has another job to go to.

QXL has restructured its marketing function following the departure of marketing director Alex Czajkowski, who quit to join London-based “venture accelerator” Armada Partners (MW October 26) at a time when QXL’s share price had slumped and doubts were cast over the future of the company.

QXL is preparing for a more sales-driven approach to marketing and will develop PR strategies, rather than spend on major ad campaigns.

Czajkowski’s position has been scrapped in the restructure. UK managing director Marc Charron is assuming overall responsibility for marketing.

QXL has also hired Peter Northing, previously Buena Vista Home Entertainment’s business development manager, as sales director. Northing has also worked for Coca-Cola.

A spokeswoman for QXL says: “Our strategy is to focus on developing relationships with new and existing suppliers, such as Thomas Cook, to offer a greater range of products to our customers.”

Sales manager Craig Carr will develop promotional opportunities for QXL. Online marketing manager Julian Persaud will develop partnerships with portals such as Lycos, while Gavin Hanley becomes site editor with responsibility for design and content.

Advertising budgets for 2001 have not been disclosed, but QXL’s creative account, which is handled by Leo Burnett, and media, through Frontline Media, are not expected to be affected by the restructure.

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