Amazon lures AA marketer for top UK role

Online book seller Amazon.co.uk has poached a senior marketer from the Automobile Association (AA) as its first UK-based marketing director.

Chris Ketley left the AA where he was a general manager for membership marketing, and started at Amazon.co.uk last week.

He joined the AA fours years ago and his responsibilities included advertising, product development and direct marketing.

Before that Ketley worked in the marketing departments of Spillers, Grand Metropolitan and Courage.

Last April, Seattle-based parent company Amazon.com bought Bookpages, the UK-based online bookseller.

The company moved the operation to Slough, renamed it Amazon.co.uk, and will use this as the base of its UK service (MW October 10 1998).

This service plans to sell 200,000 UK book titles.

However, users from the UK or US will be able to click through into sites from either country.

The UK business will discount books at about 40 per cent of high street prices.

Amazon also plans to forge alliances with other UK publishers and Internet services.

Last October the company became exclusive supplier of books to Virgin’s online venture, Virgin Net (MW October 29 1998).

Amazon’s sales in 1998 were 600m, which was up from 91m the previous year.

The company has customer accounts with 2.5 million people.

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