A couple of classics from the Mars hit parade

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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Two of duty free’s great servants were rightly singled out for their outstanding contribution to the channel by Mars International Travel Retail recently.

As pictured above, Stuart Bull, International Consultant (right) and International Travel Retail Manager – Worldwide, Hans Van Boven (left), were handed Lifetime Achievement Awards for Services to Duty Free by General Manager International Travel Retail Andreas Jacobsen.

Hans has been with Mars since January 1987, spending over a decade and a half in duty free and playing a key role in the company’s impressive sales and share boom in that period.

Stuart, subject of a memorable ‘Lunch with…’ interview in The Moodie Report last year in which he looked back on his life and career, worked for the confectionery group for 26 years before becoming a duty free consultant to them over 12 years ago. His has been a much respected, ever-present influence on the sector ever since.

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Hans and Stuart received their respective awards during a recent meeting of the Mars travel retail team in deepest and coldest Norway. Our picture above shows Stuart auditioning for a role in Mars’ next Nordic television commercial for Bounty Bar as the legendary adorable snowman.

Below we see the Mars International Travel Retail team being put through intense cold weather training to prepare them for the toughest of margin negotiations with retailers.

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Later (below), the painful thawing out process began as the newly battle-hardened troops huddled together to ward off the threat of frostbite.

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Below Stuart can be seen wearing national costume – we think sponsored by Sheridan’s liqueur – during ‘Vicky the Viking night’, described as an “evening of team fun and bonding”.

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Both award recipients were serenaded in some style by their colleagues. Stuart is a fanatical supporter of Liverpool Football Club so was met with a stirring rendition of that club’s anthem ‘You’ll never walk alone’ (and he won’t, such is his popularity in this business) while Hans’ richly deserved award was received to the strains of the Tammy Wynette country classic, ‘Stand by your man’.

It was definitely a case of two classics for two classic men who have shown time and again that in duty free at least there is life on Mars.

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