BMW loses Mini marketing chief

Mini general manager Trevor Houghton-Berry has left the BMW-owned small car brand after four years. It is not known if he has a job to go to.

Houghton-Berry has been replaced by national sales manager for BMW and Mini, Andy Hearn. Like Houghton-Berry, Hearn will take responsibility for Mini’s sales and marketing operations.

BMW created a separate division for the Mini brand in 2000, at which time Houghton-Berry was appointed general manager (MW September 7, 2000). He joined BMW from Rover, where he was corporate sales manager. He has also held similar positions at Citroën and Mazda.

Hearn will handle Mini’s £10m advertising account, which was awarded to WCRS in July 2000, as well as heading a marketing team that includes marketing manager Emma Lowndes. He will report to BMW GB managing director Jim O’Donnell.

Mini is reviewing its direct marketing business, held by EHS Brann since 2001 when the car was relaunched with a basic version, a Mini Cooper version and a Mini Cooper S. Earlier last year it added a Cabriolet.

Mini says the review, which is being handled by the AAR, is part of a statutory process. The above-the-line account is unaffected.

The decision to review the business reflects a change in Mini’s below-the-line strategy. It wants to focus instead on customer relationship management.

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