Lego restructure leads to creation of global V-P post

Lego has restructured its European PR function and is to appoint a

global PR vice-president in a bid to achieve its aim of becoming the

'world's strongest brand among families with children by 2005'.



The global vice-president role will be based at the Danish toy giant's

UK headquarters in Slough and will report to Denmark-based global brand

communication senior V-P Francesco Ciccolella.



Lego's three European PR directors - for northern, central and southern

regions - are to be consolidated under a new Slough-based European PR

director, who will report to the global PR V-P.



A media relations director and cause related marketing specialist will

also be appointed to the team, which Lego hopes to have in place by

June.



Ciccolella said communication of Lego's charitable and CSR work had

previously been 'fragmented'.



The current PR directors for Europe are Danielle Hainauer in the UK,

Ulrica Griffiths in Germany and Grazia Di Benedetto in Italy. They will

concentrate on the markets in which they are based but will assume

control of PR at Legoland's fun-parks.



Lego, whose Bionicle range was last week voted Toy of the Year by the

British Association of Toy Retailers at a ceremony in London, retains

Golin/Harris International and its network of overseas affiliates for

consumer PR across Europe. No decision on agencies is expected until the

fresh PR team is in place, which Hainauer said would be in 'a few months

'.



'This enables us to bring PR into the heart of the marketing

communications mix,' said Lego executive V-P and COO Poul Plougmann,

adding that he hoped for better 'coherence' for brand-related PR.



Lego's regional PR teams in Europe, North America and Asia/Pacific will

report to the global PR V-P and to their regional management.



In 2000, family-owned Lego recorded its first-ever financial loss.

However, the company - which first manufactured its small plastic bricks

in 1932 and employs 8,500 staff worldwide - is expected to announce in

March that it returned to profitability in 2001.



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