"My strategic intent is to leverage the great brand icons we have at Campbell Soup Co. and figure out how to drive excellence in advertising as well as find synergies across the company," said Mr. Albright, 48. "My position is not to be autonomous, it's to help business unit heads develop brands."
His promotion to the new post comes after the resignation of VP-Global Advertising Gary Moss, effective Jan. 31. The company said Mr. Moss was weighing opportunities in "the corporate and agency areas." The company said it created the new, broader position, which Mr. Moss' credentials didn't fit and he resigned.
In addition to Mr. Moss' duties, that included overseeing Campbell's $200 million in annual worldwide ad spending, Mr. Albright will oversee product innovation, corporate promotions, market research, and consumer foods and recipe development.
In announcing Mr. Albright's promotion, the marketer cited his achievements during four years of leading Godiva Chocolatier, specifically a 50% sales increase during that period and global expansion of the brand. Before taking the Godiva post, Mr. Albright also spent five years at Campbell's Pepperidge Farm.
Product innovation is considered a strong suit for Mr. Albright, who led 80-year-old Godiva to line extensions such as Cafe Godiva coffees, Cocoa Godiva hot chocolate, its liqueur partnership with Seagram Co. and bite-size Godiva Petites.
Mr. Albright also has introduced the brand to more than 50 countries since 1991, including Godiva boutiques in 35 countries.
Godiva was also first at Campbell with a World Wide Web site (http://www.godiva.com) in February 1995, though Campbell Soup launched its own in December (http://www.campbellsoups.com).
Research in global branding "will be an important tool to find out from consumers about brand equity, what we should get into and what we should not do," Mr. Albright said. But "you don't research everything-you'll never get to the marketplace-just fundamental things."
Mr. Albright takes the helm after Mr. Moss brought many significant changes to the company's advertising and media concerns, including the formation of the Campbell Media Alliance, a unit of True North Communications' TN Media.
The alliance remains strong, Mr. Albright said, and may be enhanced but he wouldn't elaborate.
BACK TO ITS ROOTS
Campbell also recently returned to a variation of its 60-year-old "M'm! M'm!" theme from BBDO Worldwide, New York, after an interlude with its "Power of Soup" campaign and shortly afterward also moved its Chunky Soup brand to FCB/Leber Katz Partners from Bates USA.
Mr. Albright has been "probably the agency's favorite client," said George Fertitta, president-chief operating officer of Margeotes/Fertitta & Partners, New York, Godiva's agency. "He's a great listener, very clear with what's good and what's bad and he's a quick decisionmaker."
His wife, T. Rosie Albright, just enjoyed a new promotion as well, becoming president of Carter Products division and corporate VP of consumer products at Carter-Wallace from general manager and exec VP of Revlon's beauty-care division.
Mr. Albright's position at Godiva will be taken by Craig W. Rydin, general manager Pepperidge Farm's biscuit unit.