APPOINTMENT: Barrett joins Culture after Chilli departure

Grasshopper co-founder Martin Barrett has joined agency Culture after being made redundant from his former employer, Chilli.

Barrett joins the outfit, based in Hammersmith, West London, as development director and has a brief to work on live business as well as grow the agency by bringing in new clients.

Culture's client list includes Coca-Cola, Road Chef and new account win Heineken UK.

The agency won the Heineken account following a three-way pitch against undisclosed competitors. It has a brief to create the SP activity around the forthcoming Rugby World Cup in Australia, which kicks off in October.

The agency will be working across all trade sectors, including grocery, on trade and convenience.

Heineken's focus on the tournament further consolidates its links with rugby through its sponsorship of the sport's European Cup. It is understood that forthcoming promotions will put the spotlight on the recently launched Premium 5% Heineken.

"The Rugby World Cup will provide a superb opportunity to showcase the brand," said Culture managing director Paul Porter.

Separately, Barrett said he was made redundant from Chilli because a tough trading environment led to Chilli missing its target for profitability in the previous financial year. He added that the agency had been trading at a loss.

Richard Shirley, joint managing director at Chilli, said: "October to December 2002 was difficult, but we have since met and exceeded targets for the last quarter and have begun the new financial year with the healthiest start ever."

- See In the Hot Seat, page 9.