Burger King focuses on PR, appoints marketing chief

MIAMI: Burger King Corporation has appointed its first chief

marketing officer in five years.



The move comes as the fast food giant is preparing for its separation

and flotation from corporate parent Diageo.



Christopher Clouser, who will also hold the title of EVP, will be

charged with strengthening public relations, especially to franchisees,

who have been critical of the company's lack of consistent leadership.

John Dasburg, who was named CEO April 1 and is the company's seventh CEO

since 1989, chose Clouser as marketing head after working with him in

the 1990s to turn around Northwest Airlines.



Rob Doughty, VP of PR and communications, said the company may hire more

people as PR activities increase.



'Our CEO understands that communications is a leadership tool,' said

Doughty, 'I think he's going to rely on us to help establish our

leadership style both inside and outside the company.'



Doughty said the company has no plans to take on an agency of record,

and will continue to work with agencies on a project basis. Currently,

the company uses Kemper-Lesnick in Chicago for issues management, New

York's Bratskeir for national marketing programs and Winstead in Miami

to create PR programs to be adapted for franchisees in local

markets.



The company's last chief marketing officer was Paul Clayton, who left

the company in 1996 when it changed to a decentralized, geographic

structure.



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