Thomson raids Yell for marketing chief

Thomson Directories has appointed former Abbey marketer Gary Brown as its marketing chief to replace Kendall Gordon, who left at the end of last year after 17 years at the company.

Brown, who joins from Yell where he was head of product and customer marketing, becomes product and marketing director at Thomson. It is not known whether Gordon, who was marketing and strategic development director, had a job to go to.

Brown, who has also worked at the AA and Volkswagen and was director of marketing operations at Abbey, says: “The opportunity for expanding the whole Thomson Directories business is a more exciting prospect than defending market share.”

Brown was the whistleblower in the case of Mike Doyle, the former Abbey marketing chief who was found guilty of conspiring to defraud the bank in 1997. Doyle’s actions were only questioned after a year when Brown, who was sales and promotions manager at the time, complained that he was not being consulted about payments to some companies supplying the marketing department.

At Thomson, Brown will report to chief executive Max Alexander, who joined a year ago.

The company appointed Clemmow Hornby Inge to handle its £4m UK advertising account last year. The agency picked up the business, which was previously held by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, without a pitch.

Yell also reviewed its £20m advertising account last year, eventually appointing Mother to handle the business. The review was disrupted by the departure of chief marketing officer Anne Francke (MW July 20, 2006) midway through the pitch. She was later replaced by former Lloyds TSB marketing chief Helen Stevenson.

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