Woolworths poaches head of brand from Mothercare

Woolworths has appointed former Mothercare business development head Tony Holdway as head of brand communications.

Holdway will have day-to-day responsibility for all above- and below-the-line marketing. He will lead a team of 26 marketers and report to Woolworths marketing director Stephen Robertson, who has a seat on the retailer’s board.

Holdway has replaced Mark Trinder, who quit last year to become ITV head of advertiser relations.

Woolworths says the company is “happy” with its existing agency arrangements – it uses Bartle Bogle Hegarty for creative and Zenith Optimedia for media buying and planning. The retailer says it has no plans to call a review.

Tracey Follows, who quit as Woolworths brand advertising manager in September to join BT as head of consumer marketing, will not be directly replaced.

Woolworths is ploughing &£20m into its pre-Christmas advertising, as well as running price-led promotions.

Meanwhile, MVC – the entertainment specialist sold by Woolworths to venture capitalists fronted by Argyll Partners managing director Chris Steed in August – is restructuring its marketing operations.

Head of marketing Cormac Loughran has quit, and the department is being overseen by marketing manager Jamie King. It is not clear whether Loughran will be replaced. MVC has also appointed Chris Davies as general manager.

Woolworths has also begun a trial of self-service Web booths at selected stores across the UK. Customers at the 18 outlets can purchase products online while they are in store, using keyboards and credit-card readers. About 300,000 items that are not available in shops can be ordered in this way and delivered using the booths.

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