EMI will take jobs axe to marketers in merger plan

Hundreds of marketers are expected to lose their jobs after EMI revealed it was axing the in-house marketing departments for its stable of record labels and setting up a central marketing function.

The division’s marketing budget is being cut from 20% of projected sales to just 12%. The record company, bought by venture capital group Terra Firma last year, announced a major restructure this week that could involve up to 2,000 of its 5,500 employees being made redundant.

It is understood that up to half of the casualties will come from marketing, after EMI Group’s chairman Guy Hands outlined the changes to the Recorded Music division.

The company runs more than 70 record labels, including EMI, Parlophone, Blue Note and Virgin. Their separate marketing departments will now be integrated.

The labels will concentrate on developing artists while the central marketing team will oversee promotional activities. It is thought there will be offices in key global locations. The new marketing team will also develop marketing practices reflecting changes in the way people buy music.

Mark Hodgkinson, EMI head of global marketing, says: “Bringing together marketing professionals in a unified global structure and being more innovative about our marketing will enable us to focus on consumers, providing a better service for our artists and consumers.”

The changes will lead to the loss of hundreds of jobs across the labels’ separate marketing departments. However, the company says many people working in “marketing” roles are not true marketers.

Hands has been critical of EMI’s bloated structure, which he says has been “struggling to respond to the challenges posed by a digital environment.”

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