Boots the Chemists is reviewing PR in the run-up to the departure
next month of communications director Ian Wright.
Four managers report to Wright, covering external and internal
communications, professional relations - for the pharmacists and
dentists on the payroll - and a video production house with annual sales
of pounds 2 million. In public affairs, there is a shared resource which
also acts for parent group The Boots Company. Wright - who is also
president-elect of the IPR - refused to predict the review’s outcome,
but would not rule out significant staff changes. ’We’re taking the
opportunity to recast the communications function,’ he said.
Product and consumer PR is handled by a separate 25-strong press office
under consumer PR head Jane Mayled.
Wright leaves Boots after five-and-a-half years. In May he joins Diageo
as group corporate communications director, succeeding Peter Lipscomb
who stands down the following month.
Wright’s immediate team will be 12-strong, but he will assume ’dotted
line’ responsibility for hundreds of Diageo’s communications staff
around the world. The company owns Guinness, Burger King, UDV and
Pillsbury pre-packed foods.
Wright will report to CEO John McGrath and oversee external
communications, corporate citizenship, and internal communications.
Public affairs remains the domain of senior UDV manager Mark Leverton.
Wright will also be in charge of the company’s agency roster on a
corporate level. Diageo uses Brunswick for financial PR.