Campbell Hires Former UM Exec For New Role

CEO Makes Consumer Marketing Bigger Priority at Soup Giant

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Campbell Soup Co. is bolstering its marketing ranks by hiring a former UM exec for the newly created position of VP-integrated marketing.

Yin Woon Rani
Yin Woon Rani

Yin Woon Rani will "be responsible for establishing the strategic direction for Campbell's advertising, media, global design and digital marketing and social media, and for ensuring alignment with Campbell's business strategies," according to a statement. She will report directly to Senior VP-Chief Marketing Officer Michael Senackerib.

From late 2011 to early 2013, Ms. Rani was North America president for the Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned media agency. She left UM in March, amid a raft of management changes at Mediabrands, the umbrella company for IPG's media agencies.

Prior to joining UM in late 2011, Ms. Rani ran the GlaxoSmithKline consumer-health-care team at WPP's GreyWorldwide. She also worked on Procter & Gamble, Hasbro, J.M. Smucker's Co. and Mars during her 15 years at Grey.

"Yin's expertise leading teams and crafting breakthrough creative will help strengthen Campbell's relationships with our loyal existing consumers and find compelling ways to connect meaningfully with new consumers," Mr. Senackerib said in a statement, which noted that Ms. Rani managed more than $7 billion in billings at UM.

The hiring is the latest move by CEO Denise Morrison to add new executive talent as she makes consumer marketing a top priority at the soup giant. Mr. Senackerib came aboard in October 2012 as the company's first CMO. That followed the appointment several months earlier of Campbell's first digital marketing and media director, Adam Kmiec.

Campbell's agencies include WPP's Y&R; Omnicom Group's BBDO; and WPP's MEC for media.

Campbell is introducing new products, such as 'Go' soup in pouches, to revive the category.
Campbell is introducing new products, such as 'Go' soup in pouches, to revive the category.

Campbell has sought to revive the sluggish soup category with products such as "Go" soups in microwaveable pouches, while getting into new business with the acquisitions of fresh-food marketer Bolthouse Farms and organic-baby-food maker Plum Organics.

Sales trends improved in the company's 2013 fiscal year, which ended July 28. But Campbell reported disappointing results in its 2014 first quarter, which ended Oct. 27, as soup sales fell 6%.

In a recent report, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard stated that "it is still very hard to tell what U.S. soup's long-term sales trend will be, but we suspect that with consumers shifting to fresher products, and with new packaging formats not driving meaningful growth, this category will continue to decline over time."

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