Former Mothercare boss wins in Disney shake-up

Pat Mitchinson is tipped to become head of marketing when Walt Disney Paris integrates with the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts division in July. Mitchinson is currently UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Middle East and Africa marketing director for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. She joined the company from Mothercare in June last year. Head of marketing for Disneyland Paris in the UK is Tamara Sanghvi.

The new division will have a marketing director and a sales director.

The combined advertising spend of the two UK Disney divisions was more than £10m last year (AC Nielsen MEAL), with Parks & Resorts also handling marketing for the Walt Disney Travel Company.

The new directors will report to a yet-to-be-named executive vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

A Disney spokeswoman refused to comment on the prospect of marketing department redundancies, but said agency reviews are not planned. Leo Burnett handles advertising and direct marketing and BBJ and Starcom Motive handle media for both Disney divisions.

Walt Disney Paris markets the company’s French theme parks and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts markets the US attractions, including Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California.

The merger plan was signalled early last September. However, the integration has been delayed by the impact on the travel industry of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and the March opening of a new Disneyland Resort Paris attraction, Walt Disney Studios.

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