Hasbro picks Disney chief as head of European marketing

Toy manufacturer Hasbro has appointed Walt Disney’s UK marketing chief Jonathan Evans as its head of European marketing.

Evans, who was vice-president of sales and marketing UK at Disney Consumer Products, replaces Fiona Murray, who left the US toy giant last month without a job to go to. According to Hasbro, Murray left “to spend more time with her family”.

Before joining Disney in 1999, Evans spent eight years at Hasbro in a number of sales and marketing positions. In his new role, Evans will head Hasbro’s European Strategic Marketing Group, including the company’s new business and licensing divisions.

Reporting to Simon Gardner, president of Hasbro International, Evans will be based at the European headquarters in Middlesex. He will have overall responsibility for Hasbro’s European advertising budget and agencies.

Hasbro spends about &£15m in the UK and uses Burkitt DDB to create its ads. Media is bought by OMD UK.

Evans says: “Hasbro’s goal will be to build on core brands, including Action Man and Monopoly, to deliver a solid and profitable platform for growth. In addition, it will be adapting its products to keep up with children’s ever changing lifestyles, and this new business will be pivotal to Hasbro’s continuing success.”

No one at Walt Disney was available for comment on whether the company plans to replace Evans.

Last month Hasbro reported a loss of $18.3m (&£12.64m) for the second quarter, compared with a profit of $6.5m (&£4.5m) for the same period in 2000. Earlier this month the company launched a trading card game based on the Harry Potter books, which it hopes will repeat the success of its Pokémon trading cards.

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