Bernard Matthews recruits marketer as MD

Bernard Matthews has appointed veteran marketer Jeff Halliwell as its UK managing director.

Halliwell has held senior marketing positions over a 30 year career at various food and FMCG companies including Colgate Palmolive, Mars and Cow & Gate.

He joins the meat processing company after a three year stint as managing director of UK cheese manufacturer

First Milk Cheese Company, and takes over from chief executive Noel Bartram who has been caretaking the role since Bart Dalla Mura left 18 months ago.

The company’s brand has suffered in recent years. It launched a major marketing campaign last autumn after taking on Isobel to handle its £2.5m advertising account in a bid to rebuild its image after an avian flu outbreak at one of its plants.

It has also been trying to reverse the damage caused after its Turkey Twizzler range was banned from school dinner menus following Jamie Oliver’s 2005 campaign for healthier school meals. It has also had to address allegations made by health campaigners over animal cruelty.

Halliwell will become one of three MD’s alongside counterparts in Germany and Hungary reporting to Bartram.

Acknowledging the challenges Halliwell says: “The company has been through some tough times but it’s taken some major steps to re-establish the brand. I relish a challenge and I look forward to being part of the team that takes the business forward.”

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