Loot suffers second blow as chief quits

Loot marketing director Jo Earle has resigned after less than a year at Associated New Ventures’ free classified ads newspaper and website.

Her resignation follows the sudden departure of Loot managing director Claire Payne in December last year (MW December 9, 2004).

Payne is believed to have left Loot after a disagreement about the paper’s direction and strategy with Associated Newspapers managing director Kevin Beattie. The newspaper has seen sales decline and faces growing competition from websites such as Ebay and specialist titles such as Auto Trader.

Total average net circulation for Loot from January to June 2004 stood at 119,777 (Audit Bureau of Circulations). For the same period in 2003 it was 147,294.

Payne recruited Earle from Universal Pictures Home Video early last year (MW January 15, 2004). Together they developed a relaunch plan for which &£1m was earmarked (MW September 23, 2004).

In November last year, Liquid Communications was appointed to work with Loot’s database and devise a direct marketing campaign featuring images of products that might be advertised in Loot.

Earle leaves the publication in mid-February and there are no plans to replace her “in the immediate future”. Marketing manager Jan Chowdhury is likely to assume some of her responsibilities.

Payne was replaced by Associated Newspapers classified ads director Sally Winfield. Loot’s advertising is handled by Wieden & Kennedy. The agency was appointed by former managing director of Associated New Ventures Stephen Miron in 2002 (MW April 4, 2002).

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