GAP FILLS TOP MARKETING POST

Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK — After last year’s marketing misfires, Gap Inc. said Tuesday that it has named former advertising man Peter Hempel as executive vice president of marketing for the Gap brand.
Hempel, 42, will report to Gap president Ken Pilot and will oversee all aspects of global marketing, including advertising, store windows, in-store promotions and public relations, for Gap, GapKids, BabyGap and GapBody. Hempel’s impact will be most visible for the fall ad campaign.
Historically, the $14 billion Gap has invested heavily in advertising to create some of the industry’s trendiest and most popular ads. Since the departure in November 1999 of Lisa Prisco, the Gap’s former vice president and creative director, who was responsible for the acclaimed “Khaki-a-Go-Go,” “Khakis Swing” and “Everybody In Vests” TV ad spots, the company’s marketing strategy has been in flux. Last year, the brand had no strong voice on TV (instead opted for “shop cards” offering rebates as an alternative), showed poor sales results and decided it was time to bring in new talent.
Chief executive Millard Drexler devoted more time to Gap to improve its performance and promoted Pilot from heading up Gap International to overseeing the entire Gap brand, international and domestic.
Along with reporting to Pilot, Hempel also will have a corporate role in working closely with Amy Schoening, Gap Inc.’s chief marketing officer. He succeeds Jim Nevins, who left the company in September.
Hempel was with Lowe Lintas & Partners here for more than 14 years, most recently as executive vice president and general manager, overseeing the Braun, Marriott, Ralston Purina and Western Union accounts.
“His strategic brand-marketing expertise and strength in developing and motivating creative teams make him a strong fit for us,” Pilot said in a statement.
Gap operates close to 4,000 stores under the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy banners, as well as conducts e-commerce.