Hertz lures Beacon Gas chief for UK operation

Hertz UK has poached director of marketing for Beacon Gas Michael Bedington as head of marketing for its UK operation.

He will report to Aidan O’Kelly, country manager for Hertz UK and his remit will be to oversee all marketing activity within the UK.

O’Kelly has been managing marketing activity for Hertz since marketing director Gordon Stewart left last year.

The appointment comes at a time of increasing competition in the car rental sector and upheaval at Hertz.

A 2m campaign broke in February to support the launch of a rival brand in the UK, National Car Rental, which is planning rapid expansion across Europe. Tour operator Thomson struck a deal with another competitor, Holiday Autos, to launch its own-branded car hire company this year.

In December last year, former Hertz International president Antoine Cau joined Forte hotels as chief executive. At the same time, Hertz International lost its director of public affairs for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Register-MEAL figures show that Hertz spent 1.3m on advertising last year in UK and a company spokesman said that it would be spending substantially more on advertising this year.

Hertz has a fleet of nearly 500,000 vehicles worldwide in about 140 countries.

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