The Body Shop has made its global PR head redundant just eight
months after she was appointed.
Pleun van Akkerveeken joined last July (PRWeek, 7 July 2000) from the
Arcadia retail group, where she was group PR manager.
She was the Body Shop's first comms head since Gavin Grant left to join
Burson-Marsteller the previous winter.
Van Akkerveeken hired almost a dozen PR staff for various roles amid a
wide-ranging PR function shake-up (PRWeek, 5 January).
Now, after what appears to be another shake-up, van Akkerveeken has left
Explaining the confusion, a company statement said it had reviewed
marketing and PR and decided to merge its campaigns, press and internal
communications under one unit.
This will be led by former head of campaigns Steve McIvor, who joins the
executive committee and reports to CEO Patrick Gournay.
The company said that under the latest structure, the corporate and
product PR teams - mainly hired by van Akkerveeken - would report to a
newly-created head of PR position. That post is yet to be filled.
Company spokeswoman Shelley Simmons refused to comment beyond the
That statement said: 'The company has undertaken to appoint a head of PR
whose strengths lie in corporate PR.
'As a result, the role held by Pleun van Akkerveeken as head of product
PR no longer exists and as a result she has left the company.'