Ufi drafts in Mars marketing boss to establish Learndirect

University for Industry (Ufi), the Government-run lifelong-learning initiative, has appointed former Mars Europe marketer Phil Wade as its marketing chief.

As director of marketing and communications at Ufi, which runs the Learndirect electronic learning network, Wade will be in charge of a team of 50 people and oversee a &£10m marketing and advertising budget. He will report to Ufi chief executive Anne Wright.

Wade was previously head of European marketing for Pedigree Masterfoods at Mars Europe. He has also been marketing director at Del Monte Foods.

His appointment follows the departure earlier this year of Ufi’s first marketing director, David Croisdale Appleby, who left the organisation to pursue other business interests (MW April 5).

“Wade’s experience in developing consumer brands and their product portfolios will prove invaluable as we continue our drive to establish Learndirect as part of the fabric of the nation,” says Wright.

Described as a one-stop shop for adult learning needs, Learndirect provides information on adult education courses throughout the UK via a website and telephone hotline, as well as online classes at more than 900 centres across the country.

Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters was appointed to handle advertising for Learndirect in March last year. A campaign based on the idea that everyone has a hidden talent was launched through the agency shortly afterwards. Media planning and buying are handled by New PHD and Media-Vest respectively.

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