Ex-Post Office chief to join Thomas Cook

The Post Office’s former marketing chief Simon Carter is expected to join Thomas Cook as marketing director.

It is understood that Carter, who left the Post Office last month when Gary Hockey-Morley was handed the top marketing job (MW September 7), will start at the travel company next week.

Carter, the Post Office’s head of marketing, had been interim marketing director before former Abbey marketer Hockey-Morley was given the job. He replaced Gordon Steele, who stepped down as sales and marketing director of the Post Office at the start of the year.

It is thought that Thomas Cook’s head of marketing Kate Knowles, who has just returned from maternity leave, will report to Carter.

One of his first tasks will be to decide whether to restart Thomas Cook’s advertising review, which was put on hold when Knowles went on maternity leave in May. She was replaced in the interim by former Post Office head of communications John Scott, who has now left the company.

Thomas Cook split its £5m advertising account between Farm, Home and former incumbent TBWA/London two years ago (MW November 25, 2004). The company appointed the AAR to conduct a review of its roster a year ago, and Lowe, St Luke’s and Home were shortlisted before the pitch was put on hold.

TBWA’s relationship with Thomas Cook dates back to 1993 when the travel company awarded its advertising account to Bainsfair Sharkey Trott. The agency was later merged into Gold Greenlees and then into TBWA.

TBWA dropped Lowe Howard-Spink’s “Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it”, in favour of “Take a Thomas Cook at this”.

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