QXL.com picks Disney marketer as UK chief

QXL.com, the online auction company, has poached Walt Disney marketer Deana McEntegart to be its UK marketing boss. Her brief is to oversee the company's stated aim of being profitable next year as well as challenge runaway market leader eBay.

McEntegart, who joins as head of UK marketing, will be responsible for all online and press advertising as well as PR. She has spent nine years at The Walt Disney Company, most recently as senior brand manager for home entertainment division Disney Classics, which retails videos and DVDs of Disney characters.

McEntegart, who reports to UK managing director Peter Northing, is QXL's first top marketer since the departure of Neil Mason last year. She will initiate a full-scale review of its advertising and media.

Much of its current advertising is created in-house, although in the past it has used agencies including Leo Burnett and Beyond Interactive, which handled online media buying and planning.

As well as promoting QXL .com as a destination in its own right, her responsibilities also involve striking distribution deals to be the auction provider on major portals. It currently has arrangements with MSN and BTopenworld.

She will also head the company's strategy of partnering with football clubs to host online auctions of memorabilia. Earlier this month QXL struck a deal with Manchester United to run auctions on ManUtd.com. It has developed relationships with a number of lower league football clubs.

QXL continues to lag behind eBay, whose success has been achieved largely by word-of mouth. According to the latest available figures, QXL sold goods to the value of £26.8m across its eight European sites over the first three months of this year, while eBay notched up sales of £63m during the same period in the UK alone.

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