Masterfoods reveals Francke’s successor

Mars group marketer drafted in from Far East to take over top European petcare position

Masterfoods has appointed a European petcare marketing chief to replace Ann Francke, who left the company abruptly earlier in the year.

The company has drafted in Geoff Starr, who has been working for the Mars group in the Far East. Little is known about Starr, who will be responsible for brands such as the Cesar, Pal and Pedigree dogfoods and the Sheba and Whiskas catfood brands.

Francke left her role as vice-president for European petcare marketing without a job to go to in May, after three years in the job. Her departure was by mutual agreement with the company (MW May 16). Francke, who joined from Procter & Gamble, where she was European director of beauty care, was expected to continue to act as a consultant to Mars on a number of projects.

In the interim, the petcare team has reported to Masterfoods Europe chief executive Gottfried Groebl.

Masterfoods is undertaking a global ad agency realignment. D’Arcy has been removed from the roster of global networks, which includes BBDO Worldwide and Grey, to be replaced by TBWA Worldwide. TBWA has picked up the Whiskas business, previously handled by BBDO, and Seeds of Change, Chappie and Trill, which were all with D’Arcy. BBDO has won the international business for Maltesers, Skittles and Dolmio as well as the Cesar and Frolic petfood brands and Catsan cat litter.

Masterfoods has denied reports that it is to move its European Pedigree Chum petfood account, estimated to be worth &£50m, out of Grey Worldwide.

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