Findus marketing chief steps down

Findus marketing chief Sylvia Banbrough has left the frozen food company to pursue other interests. The brand’s commercial director Vidar Engen has absorbed her responsibilities as head of UK marketing.

Findus marketing chief Sylvia Banbrough has left the frozen food company to pursue other interests. The brand’s commercial director Vidar Engen has absorbed her responsibilities as head of UK marketing.

It is understood that the brand’s marketing has been scaled back following its sale to former senior manager Geir Frantzer a year ago. The brand is currently focusing on tactical advertising around product launches rather than brand building campaigns.

It is not clear if Engen will review the brand’s advertising. It currently works with The Design Group and media planning and buying is handled by Bygraves Bushell Valladares & Sheldon.

Banbrough, a former Asda marketer, joined Findus in September 2004 following a review of the brand’s UK marketing operations. Prior to her arrival the frozen food brand had slashed its marketing operations and axed the roles of European marketing director and UK marketing director (MW January 22, 2004).

The frozen food sector is going through a tough time with sales figures to October last year reported to be down by 12.5%. There are a number of companies that are seeking to divest their frozen food arms including Unilever, which owns Bird’s Eye, and Heinz.

The Findus business has undergone a number of changes over the past 12 months. It has sold off a variety of its European businesses and earlier this year sold its assets in Sweden, Norway, France and Thailand to private equity company Capvest.

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