Thorntons abandons search for top marketer

Thorntons chief executive Peter Burdon is officially assuming the top marketing role, after the confectionery company decided to abandon its search for a marketing director.

Burdon has been in the dual role since the departure of Helen Wilcox in May (MW May 17). Unconfirmed reports at the time suggested that Wilcox and retail director Andrew Mounsey were made redundant, but the company has continued to deny that this was the case.

A spokeswoman for the confectionery manufacturer and retailer says: “Given Peter Burdon’s skills and experience, we have decided not to fill the marketing director’s role in the short term, but instead Burdon will direct this function personally.”

Dismissing concerns that the combined role may prove overwhelming, the spokeswoman adds: “We are confident that the strength of the supporting team now in place will allow Burdon to devote the time required.”

The latest annual figures reveal that the company’s profits rose by four per cent, despite a half per cent drop in like-for-like sales. Thorntons is hoping to make significant gains with the launch of a pilot take-away coffee and cakes scheme and a doubling of its number of sit-in cafés.

Last year, Thorntons appointed Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy to its £4m creative account, after parting company with Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R.

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