Odeon and UCI marketers under threat after takeover

The purchase of Odeon and UCI Cinemas by private equity company Terra Firma has cast doubt over the position of the cinema chains’ marketing chiefs.

Both chains have long-serving marketing teams. Odeon’s marketing is headed by Luke Vetere, recently promoted from marketing manager to marketing director (MW June 17). UCI’s head of marketing is Janet Smith.

Former EMAP Performance chief executive Tim Schoonmaker was appointed Odeon chief executive in May. Insiders suggest he is on a one-year contract.

There is no indication yet whether either cinema brand will be axed. Odeon has higher brand awareness and a longer heritage.

The purchase of the chains gives Terra Firma, which is headed by financier Guy Hands, 35 per cent of the UK box office. Terra Firma is believed to have paid £400m for Odeon, majority-owned by WestLB. UCI was owned by Viacom and Vivendi Universal and is thought to have cost £180m.

Ad sales for both chains are through Carlton Screen Advertising. Schoonmaker has implied that he is considering taking sales in house.

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