BMW lures Renault chief

German car giant woos Renault’s communications director to fill its most senior marketing role

BMW has ended its eight-month search for a marketing boss by poaching Renault director of communications Phil Horton.

Horton replaces Martin Runnacles, who moved to BMW GB’s sister company Rover Cars last October (MW August 2 1996). Horton joins the German manufacturer next month, once the launch of a new model, the Renault Mégane Scenic, has been completed.

A replacement for Runnacles was delayed to allow new managing director Kevin Gaskell, who joined BMW from Porsche in November, the opportunity to make the choice. Although Horton holds the title of marketing manager, it is the most senior marketing role in the company. He will also take Runnacles’ seat on BMW’s six-strong UK executive committee.

The German car manufacturer launched its first global ad campaign in February and has new car launches, including the M Roadster, scheduled for later this year. A revamped 3 Series will be unveiled in the UK early next year.

All advertising is handled by WCRS, which also picked up the 6m Land Rover account last month. Horton’s deputy at Renault UK, communications manager Tim Mack, takes over marketing and advertising responsibilities.

BMW is to hold talks with the makers of the new James Bond film over an estimated 30m product placement deal for one of its models.

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