Levi Strauss creates Euro supremo

Levi Strauss has appointed Northern European marketing manager Kenny Wilson to the newly-created role of pan-European marketing chief.

His hiring as field marketing director for Europe creates a layer of seniority in the marketing structure.

The job involves bringing European marketing, product and retail innovation to local markets as quickly as possible and assessing customer feedback. It reflects an attempt by Europe to become more responsive to consumer demands in the face of this week’s announcement of a 14 per cent slump in 1999 sales from $5.9bn (£3.7bn) to $5.14bn (£3.2bn). Europe saw the worst sales declines.

Northern, central and southern European regional marketing managers will report to Wilson. Bas Kruit handles central Europe; Marisa Selfa Southern Europe. A replacement for the northern European position previously held by Wilson – covering the UK, Scandinavia and Benelux countries – is being sought. Wilson reports to Robert Hanson, president of the Levi’s brand.

A spokesman for Levi’s says $100m (£62.5m) has been ploughed into marketing, retail and ads over the past year. “We have gone through a painful process of change and are introducing ads, new products and retail innovations to revitalise the brand.”

A press campaign for the Dockers brand – called “No restrictions” – will break within a few weeks, and a new TV ad campaign for Levi’s Engineered Jeans range will break in the spring.

Paul Bay, former international media director at Walker Media, was appointed to the newly-created role of director of European media planning and buying in December.

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