Magazine article Marketing

Captains for Birds Eye Wall's

Magazine article Marketing

Captains for Birds Eye Wall's

Article excerpt


Unilever has drafted in a key marketer from its US operations to fill a new post of marketing director for UK frozen foods.

John Rice, currently vice-president of marketing for Unilever's pasta sauce subsidiary, Ragu, joins as Unilever completes a top-level shake-up of marketing for subsidiary Birds Eye Wall's.

Now the marketing director post at Birds Eye Wall's is being split in two in a bid to devote more senior energy to the burgeoning 800m [pounds] UK ice-cream market under the Wall's brand.

Rice takes hold of Birds Eye. A Unilever announcement revealing the identity of his counterpart as Wall's marketing director is believed to be imminent.

Rice will control an 18m [pounds] (Media Register) above-the-line ad budget. Already agencies are moving, at least in public, to quell the rumours that two new faces in such key posts will lead to a wholesale agency review.

"We are very relaxed about the situation," says Jack Rubins, chairman of McCann-Erickson--which handles a 7m [pounds] slice of the Wall's ice-cream business. "Eric Walsh (former overall marketing director) was a very strong, classical marketing head. …

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