Morrisons has appointed Andy Atkinson as group marketing and customer director, in the same week it confirmed Publicis London as its lead creative agency.
Previously own brand and sourcing director, Atkinson has also been carrying out the role of marketing director on an interim basis for the past nine months. This followed the departure of Nick Collard who was one of five senior directors ousted by Morrisons CEO David Potts shortly after his arrival.
Atkinson has been at Morrisons since September 2011, when he joined as grocery, impulse and frozen category director. He became trading director for non-food and services in 2013 before taking up the own brand and sourcing role in May 2014. He joined from Boots where he had been commercial director. He has also held roles at L’Oréal and the Walt Disney Company after starting out with Coca-Cola Enterprises in 1999.
His latest appointment marks the completion of Potts’ executive team.
Potts said Atkinson “needed to carry on doing what he has been doing” and would in effect have to be “the voice of the customer to drive like-for-like sales each day and each quarter.”
Morrisons has been pitching for a new agency to look after its account, believed to be worth in the region of £70m, since October. Its previous agency Mullen Lowe London, which had worked with the retailer for nine years, did not re-pitch for the business.
“We have been impressed by Publicis London’s experience, insight and commitment,” said Atkinson. “We look forward to working with them on some exciting ideas.”
Publicis UK Group CEO Guy Wieynk said: “Morrisons is a Great British brand, driven by a management team that has a clear vision and a deep understanding of their customers.”