KFC marketing chief quits after US doubts

KFC UK marketing director Claire Harrison-Church has left the fast-food chain after five years without a job to go to. Her departure is likely to be a blow to advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which she appointed three years ago.

It is understood that Harrison-Church’s replacement will be an internal appointment from US fast-food chain Taco Bell, which is owned by KFC’s parent company, Yum Brands.

Industry insiders say the US head office is not convinced about the success of the UK advertising campaign, which uses the “Soul Food” strapline, and that Harrison-Church and BBH were recently hauled in front of the US board to justify the campaign.

Harrison-Church made a number of agency appointments after she took up her post in August 2001. She appointed BBH in September 2002, after a competitive pitch (MW September 26, 2002). She also reviewed the media account, then held by Zenith Optimedia. The pitch was won by Walker Media (MW September 18, 2003).

She made a number of menu changes during her tenure, including the introduction of the first salads from a UK fast-food chain. She was also responsible for launching the Mini Fillet burger and, most recently, the Sub Roll.

Harrison-Church oversaw an overhaul of the chain’s UK restaurants, to introduce elements of the Soul Food campaign, which was created by BBH. The overhaul is expected to continue despite her departure.

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