01 October 1998

Chief executive designate of Marks & Spencer, Peter Salsbury, 49, has conceded that Britain's best-known high street chain needs to advertise. Salsbury, appointed during the Yuletide boardroom punch-up, will formally take up his new position in February when autocratic executive chairman Sir Richard Greenbury is prised out of his present dual role to become non-executive chairman. Admits Salsbury: 'It's not that people don't like what we're selling - but what we haven't done is get the message across.' He agreed that in its present situation M&S will have to trumpet its virtues: 'There are an awful lot of people who love us for our knickers, but they don't love our home furnishings because they don't even know they're there.' Given its size and reputation, M&S has been virtually a non-advertiser, confining spend almost entirely to tactical campaigns in support of store openings or specific issues.