Gumtree hires Golin's Fergus Campbell as first head of UK PR

Gumtree has hired Fergus Campbell, former executive director - corporate at Golin's London office, to the new role of head of PR for the UK.

Fergus Campbell: former Golin and Blue Rubicon executive joins Gumtree
Fergus Campbell: former Golin and Blue Rubicon executive joins Gumtree

He will work with the online listings firm's marketing team and external agencies to deliver a strategic comms programme, the company said. The focus will be both corporate and consumer audiences, highlighting positive user stories and addressing reputational issues.

Campbell’s appointment follows a rebrand of Gumtree earlier this year, supported by a multimillion-pound integrated marketing campaign along with platform updates and increased customer support.

Gumtree general manager Morten Heuing said: "PR has a hugely important role to play in ensuring that Gumtree reaches its goal of becoming Britain’s number one digital brand. It is an impactful and powerful tool that, done well, will allow us to show consumers and the industry what we’re trying to achieve.

"Fergus is joining at a critical point in our evolution, and we are proud to have someone of his calibre joining the team. With Fergus leading the charge on comms, and with the developments we’re making to the platform, we believe we are at the dawn of new chapter in how Gumtree is perceived."

Before joining Golin, Campbell was a senior consultant at Blue Rubicon, where his work included launching the first global brand campaign for insurance provider Aviva and working on Cadbury’s takeover by Kraft and the company’s transition to Fairtrade certification.

Campbell, who joins Gumtree this month, said: "Gumtree is one of those brands where people think they understand what it is but, at best, they appreciate a tiny percentage of what the platform offers and, at worst, have a totally inaccurate impression of the reality. So to have an opportunity to bridge this perception gap, and work with such a talented and ambitious team, was too good an opportunity to pass up."

Speaking to PRWeek earlier this year, Heuing said Gumtree aimed to create a "proper" in-house PR function as he hailed the "powerful" impact of PR. He said focusing on positive stories from Gumtree users was crucial to counter negative reports of people using the website for scams.

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