Consumer chief quits as BT axes its central marketing department

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BT is scrapping its marketing communications team in a restructure that also seesconsumer marketing chief Tracey Follows leaving the company to join Lowe.

The entire marketing department, which was scaled back from 80 to about ten roles in a realignment earlier this year (MW July 13), will be folded into the acquisition and retention team as part of the latest rethink.

It will mean that the individual “lines of business”, such as BT Broadband and the company’s voice division, Calls and Lines, will be responsible for their own marketing communications.

Previously, the centralised marketing team worked across all of BT’s businesses.

It is understood that the move is being driven by chief operating officer of BT Retail John Petter and is based on a model used at Procter & Gamble, where Petter used to work.

The restructure began in the summer, when former group marketing and brand director Tim Evans was moved to a more strategic role at the telecoms giant (MW June 29).

Evans was replaced by head of brand Suzi Williams, who took his title but oversees a much smaller team after most of the group marketing department was redistributed among the different divisions. Williams, another former P&G marketer, who joined BT from GCap Media at the start of the year (MW January 12), is not affected by the latest restructure and will continue to be responsible for marketing and agency relationships across the group.

BT head of direct marketing Jet Cooke and senior advertising manager Carol Lamey, who have been at BT for 18 and 12 years respectively, are among the marketers having to reapply for jobs within the acquisition and retention team.

It is thought that Follows, BT’s head of consumer communications, will leave at the end of this week and will join BT’s former head of marketing communications Rebecca Morgan at Lowe from the start of next year.

Follows, a former Woolworths and T-Mobile marketer, joined BT last year (MW September 29) and is expected to be replaced by David Still, who is acting head of retention for Calls and Lines.

A BT spokesman confirmed Follows’ departure and the company restructure. However, he says it will not lead to any redundancies.

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