Frito-Lay Exec Set to Join Wal-Mart

DALLAS Frito-Lay chief marketing officer Stephen Quinn is moving to Wal-Mart as senior vice president of marketing, company officials said.

Quinn’s hiring marks a further shift in the marketing approach of the world’s largest retailer, sources said. In hopes of projecting a more upscale image, Wal-Mart has de-emphasized pricing in its advertising while promoting image, even breaking its first ads in Vogue magazine.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based company in March hired John Fleming, a former marketing executive from rival Target Stores, to replace the retiring CMO Bob Connolly.

At Frito-Lay, Quinn worked with Omnicom Group’s GSD&M agency in Austin, Texas, and will continue to do so at Wal-Mart, sources said. GSD&M, which represented Frito-Lay’s Tostito’s brand, won the $30 million relaunch of Frito-Lay’s Sun Chips snack in May.

Wal-Mart splits its $500 million account between GSD&M and Bernstein-Rein of Kansas City, Mo.

Frito-Lay has not yet named a replacement for Quinn.

Frito-Lay spent $120 million on advertising in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Based in Plano, Texas, Frito-Lay is a subsidiary of Pepsico.