M&S appoints Lofland's successor

Retail giant Marks & Spencer has poached corporate PR veteran Flic

Howard-Allen as its new director of comms.



The store announced last week Howard-Allen would take the top PR job at

its Baker Street HQ following the departure of incumbent Cheri Lofland

after just 18 months.



Howard-Allen, former Hill & Knowlton MD of corporate and B2B, will take

control of a 55-strong comms function at the most distinguished name on

the UK high street.



Her remit includes press and external affairs, internal comms, CSR and

public affairs. She will report to chairman and CEO Luc Vandevelde, who

was hired to rescue the company after a spell of falling sales and

declining profits two years ago.



His success in turning the company around was underlined last week with

an upbeat trading statement for the Christmas and New Year period that

saw M&S regain market share and apparently put its recent woes behind

it.



One sign of the emphasis the stores group is placing on PR is the fact

that Howard-Allen, a 13-year H&K stalwart who recently led the

successful pitch for the United Biscuits corporate PR account, will sit

on the UK retail board and work closely with that division's MD, Roger

Holmes.



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