Duncan is the category director, spreads and cooking products for
Unilever's Foods and Beverages Europe division and was previously the UK marketing director for Van den Bergh foods.
He has been with Unilever for more than 16 years and is viewed as a
smart operator who has significantly boosted the growth of Unilever's
spreads and cooking products division.
A BBC spokeswoman insisted that 'no appointment has been made' but it is believed that Duncan's position will be confirmed over the next few
Other candidates for the post included the BBC's director of corporate
marketing, Jane Frost, and externally Channel 5's marketing director,
Jim Hytner, was also approached.
Duncan will head a marketing department that has seen a number of
top-level exits. Bannister quit the newly created role of director of
marketing last October, just six months after his appointment.
At the time industry observers suggested that he faced a difficult and complex role which was compounded by the fact that he did not have a background in traditional marketing. Sue Farr, the director of public service broadcasting, quit the BBC more than a year ago when she lost out on the top marketing job to Bannister.
Duncan's appointment follows three months after the BBC reviewed its
creative roster which saw Fallon, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Duckworth
Finn Grubb Waters and Faulds Advertising being hired for the account.