Masterfoods Euro chief in sudden exit

Masterfoods’ head of European petcare marketing quits Mars in unexpected circumstances

Masterfoods vice-president for European petcare marketing Ann Francke has left the Mars-owned company suddenly.

It is not known if Francke, who joined Mars in 1999 from Procter & Gamble, has a job to go to.

At P&G, Francke was European marketing director for beauty care and was probably best known for signing up Madonna to star in an advertising campaign for Max Factor Gold, at an estimated cost of £4.7m.

At Masterfoods, (formerly Pedigree Masterfoods) she was in charge of European marketing for a range of top-selling pet food brands, including Cesar, Pal and Pedigree dog foods and Sheba and Whiskas cat foods.

A statement issued by Masterfoods says: “It has been mutually agreed with Ann Francke that she will leave the business with immediate effect.” The statement adds: “She has brought her strong consumer understanding to the petcare business, developing a sound strategic framework and several creative marketing propositions.”

However, an insider says: “She never fitted in – she was too P&G for Mars.”

In the interim, the Mars petcare team will report to Gottfried Groebl, chief executive of Masterfoods Europe. Groebl will recruit a successor to Francke later in the year. It is not known whether Francke’s departure will have any effect on Mars’ advertising review – D’Arcy has just lost all of its Mars work, including Cesar and Pal.

Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO handles Whiskas and Grey Worldwide the Pedigree range.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here