UGC chain marketing boss quits

UGC chief marketer Mike Thomson has left the cinema chain following a restructure implemented by new owner Cine UK. Thomson, who oversaw branding, marketing, booking and product, is not believed to have a job to go to.

The move comes as Cine UK prepares to axe the UGC brand and rebadge it as Cineworld, after it acquired UGC last December (MW February 10).

In 1999, Thomson was promoted to the new role of commercial director at Virgin Cinemas, from the position of regional manager for the North, Scotland and Ireland. Virgin Cinemas was bought by French-owned UGC in October 1999.

UGC recruited Julia Brown as head of marketing in 2003 (MW March 17, 2003). She remains with the company.

Carlton Screen Advertising has the advertising contract for both the UGC and Cineworld chains. UGC was previously handled by Pearl & Dean.

The chain is still operating its pioneering UGC Unlimited pass, which allows customers to visit the cinema as many times as they like for &£9.99 a month outside the West End or &£12.99 including West End cinemas.

Rival chains Odeon and United Cinema International (UCI) were both bought by Terra Firma in August last year. Insiders expect one of the brands to be axed later this year.

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