Freeserve ad chief to fill top marketing role

Freeserve, the internet service provider that was acquired last week by France's Wanadoo, has moved swiftly to replace outgoing chief marketer Neil Sansom, who has quit to join Shell.

Freeserve, the internet service provider that was acquired last week by France's Wanadoo, has moved swiftly to replace outgoing chief marketer Neil Sansom, who has quit to join Shell.

The company has promoted head of advertising and PR Khim McCall to the top marketing job. McCall is expected to take up the title of director of group marketing early in the new year. She will report to chief strategy officer Sarah Carpenter.

Freeserve is also seeking a candidate for the newly created position of head of marketing services, encompassing McCall's previous responsibilities and the task of developing relationships with Freeserve's channel partners such as Dixons Stores Group. The move comes as Freeserve looks to build more in-depth relationships with users and promote use of its related services and channels, such as its iCircle site for women.

McCall, who joined Freeserve in July this year after running her own marketing consultancy in South Africa, said: 'The Freeserve marketing department will take a slightly different form, encompassing more channel activity and promoting the retention message. We're aiming to be a lot more customer focused. We're putting more promotional emphasis behind the individual channels and pushing the content.'

Sansom quit Freeserve last month to join Shell as chief marketing officer for an as yet unnamed division of the company, involved in internet ventures.

He joined Freeserve two years ago from Kingfisher electrical chain, Comet.

The news of his departure broke in the same week as the pounds 1.6bn share purchase of Freeserve by Wanadoo, the French internet company 88% owned by France Telecom. The new company will be the fourth largest ISP in Europe, with more than four million active subscribers.

Freeserve was keen to stress that Sansom's departure was not related to the takeover and that Wanadoo knew of his departure prior to the deal.

It added that it does not plan to review its pounds 20m advertising business, held by M&C Saatchi. France Telecom has said that it will retain the Freeserve brand in the UK.

Freeserve, which was launched by retailer Dixons two years ago, was the first ISP to offer free internet access, revolutionising the online market in the UK.



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