Body Shop creates space for a voice in marketing

Filling a long-overdue position will help get the environmental cosmetics firm's message across

BY NIGEL COPE

Body Shop is planning to appoint its first board-level marketing director as part of a major shake-up intended to give the company a more coherent marketing strategy and make it less reliant on the public relations skills of founder Anita Roddick.

The appointment is seen as long overdue for a company the size of the Body Shop, whose communications are regarded by many as confused and unco- ordinated, with nobody appearing to be in overall charge. Yesterday, the company was unable to provide anyone to answer questions of the forthcoming appointment.

In the past, Body Shop has relied on a communications team, a press office and head of strategic marketing, Jilly Forster. Ms Forster will now move to a new position as head of corporate style with a new marketing director brought in from outside. Body Shop chairman Gordon Roddick is believed to be standing in as marketing director until a full-time appointment is made.

The main board appointment is seen as highly significant for Body Shop. The chain has problems in the United States, where its brand name is less well known and the market is fiercely competitive.

Presentation of Body Shop in America is seen as a key part of the new director's role. Julie Ramshaw, stores analyst at Morgan Stanley, said: "This is about more than putting together a nice advertising campaign. It will be a strategic, tactical role that looks at fundamental issues such as pricing, product and positioning."

Body Shop has gradually been moving more towards conventional approaches to getting its messages approach The company appointed Chiat Day as its advertising agency last year, after eschewing advertising in the past. It recently announced it was to double its marking spend to pounds 3.5m and plans to launch a radio station later this year on the Astra satellite. Ms Roddick said that the company needed to "shout a bit louder" about what it was doing.

Analysts also see the move into advertising as a means of controlling its messages more than it could by relying on free editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines.

Shares in Body Shop have performed poorly over the last year, slumping from 263p in May last year to 109p last month. Yesterday, the shares finished 4p up at 136p.

Shares in the company lost 13 per cent of their value last month when Body Shop announced disappointing results and a warning of little or no profits growth next year. Profits for the year to February rose 13 per cent to pounds 33.5m but the contribution from the US stores fell from pounds 6.2m to pounds 4.9m. Like-for-like sales fell by 3 per cent over the year and by 8 per cent in the three months following the year end.

Body Shop expanded rapidly in the US but some existing stores were allowed to become tatty and too few products were launched. Customer service was another problems area.

Since then, Body Shop has appointed a new director to oversee the US operations. Terry Hartin, who sold his cosmetics business to Body Shop in 1991, moved out to the group's North Carolina offices in May.

Analysts are forecasting profits of around pounds 38m for next year. Some in the City now rate the shares as a buy as any good news emerging from the company is likely to have a significant impact on the price.

News
peopleChildren leave in tears as Santa is caught smoking and drinking
Arts and Entertainment
A host of big name acts recorded 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' in London on Saturday
musicCharity single tops chart
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall has become the eighth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing
tv
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
News
i100
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin