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Sainsbury's wants to refocus its marketing with shake-up of senior roles

Sainsbury’s is looking to "move to a linear, marketing focuses structure" announcing yet more changes to its senior marketing team.

Mark Given, who played a crucial role in the creation of Sainsbury’s controversial WW1 Christmas advert, has taken up the newly created role of director for planning propositions on an interim basis.

His previous role as head of brand communications has been scrapped and replaced with another newly formed role, head of campaigns. Sarah Kilmartin, who was previously head of price, promotions and marketing finance at the supermarket, will fill this role.

Sainsbury's has spent much of the past year overhauling its marketing department; recent Kantar figures show that an increase in ad spend has failed to regain marketshare lost to discounters like Lidl and Aldi

At the beginning of the year, it lost its head of own-brand marketing Kirstin Knight while a few months later veteran marketer Anna Shirley, who was head of customer experience, left the retailer to join Mecca Bingo as marketing director.

A spokeswoman for the grocer said the ongoing changes are part of the “marketing division’s move to a linear, marketing process focused structure."

The shakeup comes against a backdrop of redundancies with the company looking to cut 500 head office jobs in an attempt to save £500m in operating costs over the next three years.

As part of the cost-cutting drive, the company also announced it will end its sponsorship of British Athletics two years early.

The deal was due to run until the end of 2017 however Sainsbury’s used a clause in the contract which allowed it to end the sponsorship at the half way point.

The company will however retain its sponsorship of the British Paralympic Team, which will help it stand up against rival Aldi which recently became the first supermarket sponsor of Team GB for the Olympic Games in Rio next year.