BT has poached Air Miles marketing director Amanda MacKenzie to fill the role of director of marketing services at the telecom giant's commercial division, BT Retail.
MacKenzie will take charge of BT's ad budget, worth over pounds 100m, at a crucial time for the telecoms giant. BT had the fourth-biggest spend in the UK in 1999, at nearly pounds 85m, which was down more than 19% on the year before.
MacKenzie, who has spent just over two years as Air Miles' marketing chief, will join BT in January, reporting to Ray Smith, managing director of BT Retail.
She will work across day-to-day implementation of advertising and PR for all three of BT Retail's units: consumer, corporate and small businesses.
She will be responsible for BT's marketing communications, market research and market intelligence.
BT's director of marketing services role had been covered by Tim Evans, who then moved to become marketing director of the UK consumer division earlier this year (Marketing, September 14).
MacKenzie's appointment comes as BT is under pressure over its handling of a restructure earlier this year that saw the UK business divided into wholesale and retail units.
She takes charge of its advertising at a time when BT is rethinking its advertising, having appointed St Luke's to a branding task last month.
MacKenzie said: 'I am delighted to be able to take such a high-profile position and look forward to starting at BT in January.'
MacKenzie's exit from the troubled Air Miles comes hot on the heels of managing director Judith Thorne's departure in October, amid uncertainty over the future of Air Miles within British Airways.
MacKenzie's spell at Air Miles involved planning the repositioning of the loyalty programme as an all-round travel services provider. Her replacement has yet to be named.