CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Campbell Soup Co. has named Maureen Linder as VP-global advertising and design. Ms. Linder, 46, was previously VP-brand strategy and marketing services for Pepperidge Farm.
She replaces Paul Alexander, who has left the company in October. Mr. Alexander is now senior VP-managing director of communications for Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.
In her new role, Ms. Linder will oversee all of Campbell's advertising, including creative, design and digital work as well as media planning and buying. She will also manage the package-food company's agencies, including the New York offices of creative shops BBDO, Y&R and media-buying agency Mediaedge:cia. Ms. Linder will report to Carl Johnson, senior VP-chief strategy officer, and Sean Connolly, president, Campbell USA.
"Maureen is extremely well qualified to lead these important functions," Mr. Johnson said in a statement. "Throughout her career, she has demonstrated excellent leadership skills and has a track record of innovation and achievement. I am confident that Maureen will contribute to the strong work we already have underway."
Ms. Linder joined Campbell in 1997 and has held a variety of marketing jobs, including VP-marketing for the Pepperidge Farm bakery and adult snacks business. Prior to Campbell, Ms. Linder worked for Barilla, Quaker and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
An opportune time
She is taking the top marketing spot at an opportune time. The economic downturn has been a boon for soup, as well as the snacks business. Campbell has repeatedly emphasized its commitment to advertising so as to keep its brands top of mind. However, the brand's recent comparative campaign, against much-smaller rival Progresso, caused some analysts to cool on the company's prospects.
"The big disappointment this year has been that many investors thought that both Campbell and General Mills were entering a new phase of rational behavior following two price increases by Campbell," Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow wrote in a report. "Instead, Campbell entered the soup season spending aggressively on promotional price points and a negative advertising campaign against Progresso to launch the new Select Harvest line. This is bad for margins and for the category."