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Purplebricks has just appointed its new chief marketing officer, who was most recently global director of restaurants at a food chain.
 
Ben Carter - who for five years working at Just Eat, first as UK marketing director and more recent as global director of restaurants and strategic partnerships - succeeds Ed Hughes at the online agency.
 
Carter has told the marketing industry press: “I love working in high-growth, disruptive businesses with ambitious and innovative teams, and Purplebricks is no different.
 
“It’s rapidly established itself as a well-known brand with clear market leadership so it’s an amazing opportunity to help drive the business on to its next phase of growth by transforming the home buying and selling process.”
 
Before working at Just Eat, Carter was marketing director at the aptly-named Notonthehighstreet and was also director of digital at Betfair.
 
He says of his new job: “We want to switch buyers and sellers from the high street to digital by continuing to invest in brand growth. I’ll be working with the team to start to tell a broader brand story and establish real resonance for the brand – to increase consideration of our service and build stronger advocacy.”
 
Before moving into marketing Carter was a journalist, and from 2004 to 2006 was news editor at Marketing magazine, which was later incorporated into the well-known Campaign magazine.
 
Predecessor Hughes left Purplebricks over the summer after four years, and has now founded marketing and sponsorship consultancy Doubloon.
Marketing agency Boomin now has 56 estate agencies signed up to its service a month after it first began officially reporting on its progress.
 
This follows its latest tranche of ten agencies, which are small and medium-size firms and last week’s news that it has signed up franchised corporate agency group TPFG, whose key agency brand is Martin & Co.
 
The biggest to join this week is Robin Jackson, a London and Kent based agency with 20 branches, whose operations director Tony Robinson says: “We spent several weeks interrogating the features designed for agents and consumers, and felt their flexibility was something we could work with.
 
“Moreover, it was the insights into the marketing plans for the New Year that got our full attention.
 
“They are ambitious, will create talkability amongst anyone interested in property and should raise the profile of our 20 plus offices
 
“The Boomin team that has been amassed, plus the calibre of marketing agencies is impressive and we want to take full advantage of the smart people involved and the financial backing being deployed.”
 
Jeremy Brown, Owner Xact Homes, says: “At Xact we have always tried to provide innovative solutions to our clients and joining Boomin at this early stage confirms our commitment to be an industry leader. 2021 will be a pivotal year for the property market and I believe that Boomin will play a primary role in our strategy to provide an end to end solution for our clients.”
Outdoor retailer Go Outdoors has announced the acquisition of Rochdale-based Naylors Equestrian, one of the UK’s leading equestrian retailers, for an undisclosed sum.
 
Naylors will continue to operate through its existing website and three stores in Rochdale, Nantwich and Cannock.
 
Over the coming months Naylors Equestrian concessions will begin to be introduced into the Go Outdoors megastores.
 
Lee Bagnall, Go Outdoors chief executive, said: “At Go Outdoors we are committed to offering our customers the best choice of gear for every outdoor activity, whether that be walking, camping, cycling, climbing and fishing.
 
“With Naylor’s Equestrian now joining the Go family we will be able to offer our customers an even better, exciting range of equestrian products.”
 
He added: “We see great potential in the equestrian market and by acquiring an established retailer with a great heritage and reputation along with an experienced team, we can offer our customers the very best choice for all their equestrian needs.”
 
Bury-based sports and athleisure retail giant, JD Sports Fashion, completed a deal in June this year that saved Go Outdoors and most of its 2,400 jobs.
 
The group appointed Michael Magnay and Daniel Butters of Deloitte as joint administrators of Go, then subsequently acquired Go Outdoors from the joint administrators for £56.5m and declared the business has a future as part of the overall group.
Online homeware search engine ufurnish.com has appointed David Marshall as its Chief Technical Officer.
 
Marshall has long been a technology leader in online B2C having previously held positions as Chief Technical Officer at restaurant booking platform Bookatable and online travel industry stalwart Lastminute.com where he was Chief Technical Architect.
 
He joins the business on the back of a successful exit at Bookatable which was recently sold to The Fork, a subsidiary of Tripadvisor.
 
On his arrival at ufurnish.com Marshall said: “I met founders, Deirdre and Ray and instantly felt that this is the perfect business for me.
 
“It’s such an exciting time to be in technology and working with such a high growth business as ufurnish.com.”
 
Founder and CEO, Deirdre Mc Gettrick, added: “David brings a wealth of technical knowledge and capability to the ufurnish.com business but importantly is also a great cultural fit. We are delighted to have him join our leadership team and to be on our journey.”
 
On the platform, users are able to favourite products, create home furnishing design boards and receive notifications for sales alerts and retailer promotions.
 
Once consumers are ready to purchase, one click takes them directly to their desired product on the retailers website.
 
Prior to its latest appointment the company announced Toni Wood as its CMO and Imants Krezin as Head of SEO & Data.
 
Woods was the former marketing and commercial chief at leading furniture retailer DFS, in addition to being on the executive committee of DFS.
 
Krezin spent most of his career in advertising agencies, and has worked on international campaigns for brands such as Unilever, Burberry, Land Rover and HSBC.
 
The firm said it is poised to become “one of the UKs fastest growing online retail technology companies in the next 18 months”.
The Drinks Trust is gearing up to launch a platform dedicated to creating “connection and opportunity” across the UK drinks industry.
 
Launching in January, The Drinks Community platform will offer access to both “inspirational and practical” advice, which will be delivered alongside vocational materials, networking opportunities, forums, and exclusive content.
 
Moreover, the online member platform will enable people from the UK drinks industry to share knowledge and would “provide the bridge between disciplines, specialisms, and product channels in our sector”, said The Drinks Trust.   
 
The ambition was for the Community to be the leading networking, upskilling, careers and vocational space for drinks people, said CEO Ross Carter.
 
“The Drinks Community will be the voice of drinks people. Together, we will create, curate and share the most relevant and exciting vocational content that will help grow your career and connect you with more people, and more opportunity, from across our vibrant industry.
 
“We will offer the services and opportunities that will help our people become more skilled, ultimately making our sector stronger, smarter, more connected, more resilient and more diverse,” he said.
 
First and foremost, added Carter, The Drinks Community would exist to deliver on a "genuine need within the drinks industry, particularly now, at a time when community will be central to the recovery of the drinks and hospitality sectors”.
 
The Drinks Trust will also be launching The Drinks Community Mentor Programme, for which it said it would be calling for applicants in the coming weeks.
 
As part of the new initiatives, The Drinks Trust is calling for contributors from across the industry, from the point of production to the point of sale.
When it comes to small businesses, there are never enough hours in a day to get everything done; effort and time are precious resources, and the last thing you want to do is waste time.
 
Dealing with finance and accounting can be intimidating for many and London-based Codat is here to solve the problem.
 
The UK startup is focused on making financial and accounting software integrations as simple as a click of a button.
 
In the latest development, Codat has formed a strategic partnership with Visa to give European banks access to SME financial data.
 
The partnership agreement is tied to the launch of the Visa Fintech Partner Connect program in Europe, a new marketplace where Visa is partnering with a roster of carefully selected fintech businesses.
 
“This is a major stamp of approval and validation of the quality, security and scalability of the platform our team has built,” said Pete Lord, CEO at Codat. “Visa has recognised that we address a universal pain point in SME financial services: the manual, slow, and limited exchange of financial data between businesses and their service providers. Our modern API technology provides the means to do this better, giving Visa’s clients the ability to offer SMEs a suite of improved and more agile products and services, as well as reduce their own operating costs.”
 
Working with Codat, Visa’s clients will be able to create a fully digital journey for their SME customers, from onboarding to underwriting, to account and portfolio management, with a single point of connectivity between their customers’ accounting platforms and data sources.
 
Codat’s connectivity to an SME’s financial data will form the most up-to-date picture of a business’s financial health. With this partnership, Codat ensures Visa and Codat clients will always be offered the broadest and richest access to key business financial data.
 
Founded by Alex Cardona, David Hoare, and Peter Lord in 2017, Codat enables financial service organisations to integrate with a wide and growing range of accounting, banking, and commerce integrations platforms.
Right now, Codat has over 60 clients globally, across various different industries from traditional lenders to invoice financing, insurance to cash flow forecasting. To date, Codat has raised $19.6 million (approx £14.7 million) in funding over 3 rounds.
Next's marketing director has become the latest executive to sell a stake in the retailer after its boss sold £10million of shares last week.
 
Jane Shields offloaded £2.4million worth of stock this week, selling 35,000 shares for £67.62 each, just days after Lord Wolfson, Next’s chief executive, dumped 150,000 shares at a price of £67.87 apiece.
 
Last month, director Richard Papp sold shares worth £728,500.
 
It is the first time Shields, who joined in 1985, has sold shares in more than 20 years. She still owns 37,690 shares in Next.

 
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity has launched an animated Christmas campaign that charts a patient’s journey home for the festive period.
 
The film, by Adam & Eve/DDB, features GOSH patient Mia and her sister Amy, both of whom were treated at hospital years apart for the same rare neurological condition, chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). Mia was three weeks old when she was admitted to hospital with CIDP but returned home in time to be reunited with her big sister for Christmas Eve.
 
In the animated story, Mia falls asleep in her GOSH room, which is adorned with festive decorations. A magical wind then carries her and other sleeping children away from the hospital on their journeys home, passing landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, the Angel of the North and Clevedon Pier.
 
It ends with a real home video of Mia and Amy running downstairs in their matching pyjamas to open their Christmas stockings.
 
GOSH Charity’s “Home for Christmas” campaign raises awareness of its work to get children home to their families and to support those who must stay in hospital for treatment over the festive season.
 
The work was created by Simone Warme and Jeppe Vidstrup and directed by Marlies Van Der Wel through Partizan Studio. Hearts & Science is the media agency, while Ocean Outdoor, JCDecaux, Verizon, News UK, The Guardian and The Telegraph have donated media space. It will run on TV next week.
 
Louise Parkes, chief executive of GOSH Charity, said: “After the year we’ve all had, spending time with loved ones feels even more important than ever, and that includes the seriously ill children who are being treated at GOSH this festive season.
 
"We’re so excited to launch our ‘Home for Christmas’ campaign which will help GOSH get more children home to their families, and to help the hospital be a ‘home from home’ during these incredibly difficult times.
 
“Over the last few months, we have been truly humbled by all the amazing support we’ve received, and hope that people can come together again to spread as much Christmas cheer as possible, at a time when we need it most.”

Genesis Motor Europe has appointed former Audi and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) marketing chief Dominic Chambers as its new head of marketing and communications.
 
Chambers’ joins Hyundai Motor Group’s premium division following September’s appointment of Audi’s head of future retail, Dominique Boesch, as its first managing director.
 
He is the latest in a series of strategic hires as Genesis gears-up for its long anticipated arrival in the UK as part of a Europe-wide lauch.
 
Back in July AM revealed that former Polestar UK managing director Andrew Pilkington had joined the brand from his post with the Geely-owned EV specialist, which was poised to launch its Polestar 2 EV in the UK at the time.
 
Pilkington now occupies a London-based role as Genesis Motor Europe’s operations director.
 
Commenting on Chambers’ appointment, Boesch said: “Defining our arrival plan for Europe and clearly communicating our unique approach to market will be critical to establishing a strong presence in the premium automotive market.”
 
“Dominic has a proven track-record of creating powerful campaigns and transforming digital platforms and he will bring our vision for Genesis in Europe to life.”
 
Genesis Motor Europe said that Chambers has over twenty-five years of marketing experience “working for some of the world’s biggest technology, retail, and entertainment brands”.
 
His previous roles in automotive include those of marketing director for Audi UK and global head of digital marketing for JLR, where he was responsible for strategy, innovation and global content delivery across online and social channels.
 
Chambers’ role at Genesis Motor Europe will see him responsible for marketing communications, PR and digital experience.
 
Chambers said: “I’m excited to take up the role and to join what is already an incredibly talented team.
 
“I recognize the importance of digital marketing transformation and communicating our unique customer experience will be essential.
 
“We have a clean sheet of paper and we can define our own direction for Genesis across all digital and social channels right from the outset; challenging the conventions and delighting our customers with everything we have to offer.”
Foodservice buying and marketing group, Caterforce, has appointed a new Group Marketing Manager to support its head office team in Cheshire.
 
Lucy Boland joins Caterforce from Accord Marketing, an integrated digital marketing agency, where she spent 3 years running their Manchester agency.
 
Lucy brings with her a wealth of experience in ecommerce, creative and integrated marketing, having previously worked with clients such as Mitchell & Butler, Nutri Advanced, HSS Hire, Sofology and Anchor Hanover Group.
 
Lucy will focus on developing and implementing the long-term digital marketing strategy as well as raising the profile of the group and the Flavour Photography studio.
 
Lucy Boland, Group Marketing Manager comments “I am really excited to be part of the team at Caterforce and am looking forward to working with the members and suppliers and playing an integral part in developing the digital marketing strategy for the group.”
 
Gary Mullineux, Managing Director at Caterforce, said: “I am delighted that Lucy has joined Caterforce. Her background and broad marketing expertise will strengthen our marketing team and allow us to achieve our long-term strategy. It is more important than ever right now, to add value and support our members and suppliers and I am confident Lucy will help us achieve this at an even greater level going forward.”
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