Mars picks global chief

Former head of Bates Worldwide is promoted to spearhead Mars’ global marketing operations.

Ken Rogers, the former Bates Worldwide advertising boss poached by Mars to become its top European marketing chief, has been promoted to head Mars’ global marketing.

Rogers, who became vice-president of European franchise for the confectionery business in 1995, returns to Mars’ global headquarters in McLean, Virginia, as vice-president of marketing.

Martyn Wilks, a British executive who runs Mars in France, will replace Rogers – an American.

Rogers confirmed his new job to Marketing Week: “It will cover snackfoods [confectionery], petcare and main meal [food brands such as Uncle Ben’s]. Mars has been globally focused for a long, long time.”

His responsibilities in Europe involved coming up with centralised marketing and advertising solutions, according to a source. “Rogers had the final word on everything,” he says.

Before joining Mars, Rogers ran Bates’ $375m (£234m) Mars business as vice-chairman of multinational client service. But the agency was dropped, and replaced by the BBDO network, partly because of Mars’ anger at Bates parent Cordiant following the overthrow of Maurice and Charles Saatchi.

Rogers’ departure has prompted speculation about the future of Tom Jasinski – one of his former colleagues at Bates – who was hired as Mars’ first head of European advertising across Europe. But insiders say Jasinski has been recently assigned to oversee a number of important special projects.

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