Bluewater, Europe’s largest retail and leisure complex, under construction in north Kent, has hired Jeff Klein, a top executive at its PR agency Burston-Marsteller, to take charge of marketing the scheme.
He has joined Bluewater operator Lend Lease Global Investment as director of marketing and communications. He will have a marketing budget running into “several millions” of pounds.
Klein says one of his first tasks is to review relationships with all Bluewater’s communications agencies, including advertising agency Delaney Fletcher Bozell and PR and design agencies. But he denies that he has started a pitch for any of the business.
Klein says: “I am trawling the market to make sure we have the best people – we will not replace them for the sake of it.”
Bluewater will open in spring 1999, and Klein says it will be “different from any other shopping and retail centre in this country”.
There have been fears that Bluewater will suck business out of established shopping locations in nearby towns. But Klein says the local community supports the scheme.
He replaces Des Surleff, who returned to his native Australia at the end of last year.