Masterfoods chief to take on Boots retail

Mark Johnson, Masterfoods European marketing director for flagship brands Pedigree and Whiskas, is leaving the company after 15 years to join Boots as retail marketing director.

Johnson joins Boots at the end of October and will take over from Colin Webb, who took the post in January (MW January 30). Webb had been director of marketing for Boots Retail International. It is not known what role Webb is going to take. Boots’ marketing department is under review.

Johnson will report to Boots strategy and development director Ann Francke, whom he previously worked with at Masterfoods petcare. It is not known what Johnson’s responsibilities will involve, but they are likely to include in-store communications and the chain’s promotional strategy.

Francke joined Boots in February this year (MW January 16) after Barry Clare, the board director with responsibility for strategic marketing and development, was ousted. Johnson held a number of positions at Masterfoods, including petcare marketing director for the UK before he took on the European role in 2001.

Boots is introducing plastic giftcards as a new type of gift voucher during the run-up to Christmas. Customers can choose the amount of credit that they want to put on to the card to give as a present. Unused credit can be retained and used later.

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