The job is one of a number of roles he is taking on as an independent consultant. Fitch has become chairman of The Hub, an informal consortium bringing together the skills of WPP-owned research and branding groups TNS, G2 and Kantar subsidiary Kantar Retail as a core group to target fmcg and retail clients.
’The Hub can offer a complete service in integrated marketing and strategies,’ says Fitch. ’My particular thrust is to introduce the offer to retailers rather than suppliers.’ Fitch adds, ’WPP is fulsomely capable of bringing together “an integrated service”.
The Hub doesn’t attempt to do everything – for example, it won’t handle advertising. It attempts to bring together integrated marketing strategies.’ Fitch was appointed by Eric Salama, chief executive of global market research and brand consultancy Kantar, of which Aziz Cami, formerly of The Partners, is creative director.
Neither Salama nor Cami will be involved in the day-today running of The Hub, which, says Alastair Cochrane, chief executive of Kantar Retail UK, can include other WPP groups if appropriate. In a separate move, Fitch has been appointed by the Qatar government-owned Qatar Media as independent branding consultant to work with the new masterplanning team for London’s controversial £1bn Chelsea Barracks redevelopment.
He reports directly to the Qatar government-owned property development company Qatari Diar. Architectural practices Dixon Jones Architects and Squire and Partners and landscape designer Kim Wilkie Associates are devising the masterplan for the 5ha site, along with other consultants.
Fitch says an as-yet unnamed London consultancy has been appointed to create branding for the site, but his role is ’to work as part of the bigger picture’. ’I have an overview of the branding,’ says Fitch.
’It’s not just about the identity, but about how you position this new community that will include a hotel, shops and stores that are all part of the branding work.’ Fitch is employed for the first phase of the ten-year project.
This culminates in the delivery of outline planning permission for the masterplan, which Fitch anticipates as happening early next year. There may be scope for a continuing role after that, he says.
Fitch resigned from Fitch last November. His contract ended on 30 June.
Roles held by Rodney Fitch
- Chairman of WPP integrated marketing strategy group The Hub
- Independent branding consultant to Qatari Diar on Chelsea Barracks redevelopment
- Professor of Retail Design at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and Mumbai
- Chairman of V&A Enterprises, the commercial arm of the Victoria & Albert Museum
- Non-executive director of Morgan Contract Furniture Chairman of Oddizzi, an online travel and education business