BP hires global advertising chief

BP has appointed Michel Van Eesbeeck as its new advertising manager for the global brand of BP International.

Van Eesbeeck will oversee global advertising campaigns and provide a focal point for advertising expertise in the organisation. He replaces Laurie Teh, who is returning to Australia.

In his former role as brand communications manager for BP Oil Europe, Van Eesbeeck was responsible for co-ordinating all communications for the BP/Mobil joint venture.

In another top-level move, BP Oil head of European retail marketing John Thomas becomes general manager of BP Oil in the UK.

Thomas, more commonly known as “JR”, will replace Brett Holden who is transferring to the executive office to work on BP Oil’s global downstream (retail) business.

“JR Thomas will be responsible for the retail business and BP’s 1,500 service stations in the UK,” says BP spokesman David Nicholas.

Before his appointment as Brussels-based head of European retail marketing last June, Thomas was senior business adviser of retail and brand management at BP (MW June 5 1997).

BP’s UK retail division is seeing pitches from six direct marketing agencies for a below- the-line brand communications brief and the joint Argos Premier Points loyalty scheme. It will announce a slimmed-down roster early next week.

Incumbent agencies Triangle Communications, Interfocus, Ad Infinitum and Purchasepoint are competing against Claydon Heeley International and Positive Thinking for the 5m-plus account.

A new advertising campaign through Doner Cardwell Hawkins will break at the end of January.

“Plans for a new campaign are being finalised,” says BP advertising and public relations manager Louise Murphy.

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