EasyCar appoints head of European marketing

Car hire company easyCar has appointed Jennifer Mowat as its commercial director, a new position which has been created to take on responsibility for the company’s European marketing strategy.

Mowat was formerly UK country manager for internet auction site eBay but left in December 2001 to pursue an MBA in Switzerland. Previously, she was head of marketing for Associated New Ventures, part of Associated Newspapers.

EasyCar, founded in 2000, is an online booking service and part of Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup. The company plans to expand, increasing its European fleet from 7,000 vehicles to 24,000 over the next two years.

Marketing has so far been handled by Haji-Ioannou and easyCar managing director Andrew Fitzmaurice. Advertising is put together in-house and PHD Media handles media planning and buying. Mowat says there are no plans to review these arrangements. The company spent &£1.43m on advertising in the year to September 2002 (Nielsen Media Research).

EasyCar is battling with the Office of Fair Trading to avoid having to implement a seven-day cooling-off period after a booking has been made. The company argues that this would affect its business model and it would lead to it tripling its rental prices. After receiving complaints from easyCar customers, the OFT has applied to the High Court for an injunction to make the company comply under the Direct Selling Regulations.

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