Marketing chief quits Eurostar for DHL

Eurostar group executive sales and marketing director Pascal Tomasso is leaving the cross-channel train operator following a company restructure.

The company is merging its London and Paris-based executive boards as it cuts costs and rationalises responsibilities. Eurostar UK director of marketing Bertrand Guillon will have overall responsibility for European marketing.

Tomasso is understood to be rejoining courier company DHL, the company he left to join Eurostar in September 2000.

He joined Eurostar during an advertising agency review, which resulted in the appointment of TBWA Worldwide to the pan-European business. Last month, Young & Rubicam-backed start-up LEG in Paris managed to secure some Eurostar business in France. The business continues to be handled by TBWA/London in the UK.

Eurostar refused to comment on Tomasso’s departure, but denies he is being forced out. A Eurostar spokesman adds that the group was undertaking an “integration project”.

TBWA/London devised a Eurostar TV campaign featuring pop singer Kylie Minogue, which ran in late September last year. In October, the group released figures showing third-quarter sales were down seven per cent on the same period in 2000, with revenue down 5.2 per cent to &£106m. Eurostar cited foot-and-mouth disease and the immediate effects of the September 11 terrorist attacks as reasons for the slump.

Eurostar was set up in March 1999 by the joint operating railways of Eurostar UK, SNCF (the French national railway) and SNCB/NMBS (the Belgian national railway). Eurostar’s total advertising spend for January to December 2001 was &£5.6m (AC Nielsen/MEAL).

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