Rothmans takes axe to marketers

Rothmans UK is to cull up to a third of its marketing and sales team as part of a wider operational restructure at the company.

Parent company British American Tobacco (BAT) has said that about 90 jobs will go at Rothmans’ 270-strong Aylesbury office, which houses the marketing, sales and distribution staff for its Dunhill, Royals, Rothmans and 555 cigarette brands.

It is not known whether Rothmans marketing director Ralph Wittenberg will be among the redundancies, or to what extent his team will be affected.

The redundancies are a symptom of tough times for tobacco advertising, which has been severely curtailed by government restrictions. Most advertising for tobacco brands was banned at the end of 1999, although certain worldwide sports events have an exemption, which includes tobacco sponsorship until 2006.The most recent creative work for Rothmans was handled by BAT roster agency Ogilvy & Mather, although it is BAT policy to shift brands between O&M and its two other roster agencies, Bates and Grey Worldwide.

A BAT spokeswoman says the cuts are also related to BAT’s loss to Imperial Tobacco of the distribution rights for Marlboro cigarettes last year (MW August 15, 2002).

The loss was greeted with disbelief at the time – the deal more than halved BAT’s UK market share to six per cent. Industry sources say the move resulted in a loss of almost two-thirds of the company’s UK income.

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber

    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    If you're an existing paid print subscriber find out how to get access here.

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

    If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now