Battling Marks & Spencer has appointed a woman to strengthen its external marketing.

Jude Bridge, a highly experienced marketeer with a proven track record, is the new Head of External Marketing.

Jude, 39, a mother of three, will oversee the development, implementation and delivery of a customer-focused external marketing strategy.

She started her career in marketing at Unilever in 1983, progressing through a series of marketing roles, ending up as European Marketing Manager for deodorant brands.

In 1995, she moved to United Biscuits, first as Marketing Director for KP Snacks, leaving as International Brands Director.

In her latest role as a senior account director for an international advertising agency, Jude has been responsible for integrated client programmes, spanning the range of traditional advertising, direct marketing, on-line marketing and point-of-sale.

Jude joins M&S in September and will report directly to Group Marketing Director, Alan McWalter. Mr McWalter said:

"I am delighted that Jude is joining us. Her obvious enthusiasm and passion for Marks & Spencer, coupled with proven marketing skills across a wide variety of consumer brands will ensure that our own brand message is communicated consistently and effectively to our customers and help to drive improved sales performance."