CIC Video sales and marketing director Karl Oliver has resigned from the company which he joined in 1991. Oliver devised ingenious marketing and distribution strategies for the video tape wholesaler. He included big grocery chains among their retail outlets, cut prices of back catalogue titles and favored Hollywood brands such as Paramount and Universal in marketing their video titles.
CIC Video's sales and marketing director Karl Oliver has parted company with the firm after two-and-a-half years.
Oliver resigned last week, but has no immediate job to go to. "I will continue to be associated with the industry in a broader multimedia perspective," he says.
He joined the company from Brooke Bond Batchelors in 1991 with a brief to introduce "classic fmcg disciplines" to CIC's marketing. "The video market has been manufacturer-driven for the past nine years," he told Marketing.
During his time at the helm, CIC distribution strategy shifted to accommodate big grocery chains.
It slashed prices of back catalogue titles to promote impulse purchasing, and last April it dropped the CIC brand name in favour of the Hollywood studios behind the films it distributes: Paramount and Universal.
But for some in the trade, Oliver did little to stem CIC's reputation for overhyping itself and its product. "I remember they launched a cartoon called Fievel Goes West promising a multimillion pound campaign and saying how they were going to 'Out-Disney Disney'," says one trade source. "It simply didn't happen."
Both Oliver and managing director Graham Gutteridge say the move is a result of the "completion of his remit to create a new blueprint for CIC's marketing operation".
CIC has been exploring the possibility of setting up its own software and multimedia arm to exploit its catalogue of Hollywood movies. It is not clear what effect Oliver's departure will have on this.