Andrew Harrison, the high-profile marketer, has been drafted in by Boots to beef up its marketing department.
The former Nestlé Rowntree and Coca-Cola Great Britain marketing chief, who quit his previous role as managing director at Muller Dairy UK last summer (MW June 23), has been appointed as interim category marketing director on an initial six-month contract. It is unclear whether he will seek, or be offered, a permanent role at the end of the period, as Boots is set to undergo changes related to its proposed merger with Alliance Unichem.
A spokesman for Boots says Harrison has been brought in to help develop its healthcare, beauty and own-brand marketing plans. He will report to marketing director Andrew Brent, who joined the company in September, six months after leaving a similar position at Burger King.
Harrison, who started this week, will have day-to-day contact with agencies working on the Boots account, including Mother and MediaCom, but the spokesman stresses there are no immediate plans for a review.
After two years in the top marketing position at Coke GB, during which time the company experienced a 10% jump in UK volume sales, Harrison moved to Nestlé Rowntree (MW May 18, 2000).
While at the confectioner, Harrison – speaking at Marketing Week’s TV Conference 2001 – was heavily critical of the television model, saying the industry’s cost structure was “out of control” (MW March 29, 2001). He was recently linked to the chief executive’s role at TV marketing body Thinkbox, a position eventually filled by PHD Group UK chairman Tess Alps.
Boots’ £6bn merger with Alliance is being held up by a Competition Appeals Tribunal investigation.