GWR appoints first group marketing head

GWR Group, owner of Classic FM, has appointed Jim Cruikshank as its first group marketing director.

Cruikshank, a former media director at Leagas Delaney, was marketing and commercial director for Asserta, Norwich Union’s online property business.

Cruikshank left Asserta in April and since then has acted as a consultant for Ebay, the London Stock Exchange and I-level.

GWR’s decision to appoint a group marketing director followed the departure of Colin Dudgeon, marketing director for the company’s local stations (MW July 31). He left to join direct marketing agency Brewer Blackler.

Cruikshank will oversee Alex Marks, the brand communications manager for sales house Opus, head of marketing for the local radio group Tom Miller and brand manager for digital stations Pascal Grierson. He will report to operations director Steve Orchard.

GWR uses Rocket to handle media planning and buying while its advertising is created in house.

Cruikshank says that his job will be to develop a clear brand strategy for the next few years as the company moves into the digital era. He does not rule out appointing a specialist branding agency.

The company launched three digital radio stations, Planet Rock, Core and The Storm, in November 1999. The stations reported their first Rajar figures last week.

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