Diageo to switch focus to emerging markets

Steve’s breakdown: There are a lot of changes going down at Diageo in western Europe. And no doubt they will make waves in the advertising assignments. Pick a brand and get in there!

LONDON, UK: Diageo is to strip a layer of management from its European operations in a cost-cutting exercise that is likely to result in the abolition of its UK marketing director role.

The change is the result of stagnant growth in Europe and Diageo’s desire to deploy more resources to emerging markets.

Matt Barwell, the European marketing and innovation director, has been appointed to Western Europe consumer marketing and innovation director.

Philip Gladman, who holds the position of UK marketing director, will switch to become category marketing director of Diageo’s white spirit brands, such as Smirnoff and Gordon’s Gin.

In addition, it has appointed Guy Escolme as category marketing director of whiskey, Tanya Clarke as category marketing director of beer and Chris Lock as category marketing director of Baileys and portfolio.

At last month’s Cannes Lions festival, Diageo chief marketing officer Andy Fennell said that emerging markets would account for about 50% of Diageo’s business within the next four years.

It recently took a majority stake in the Chinese spirit company that owns the popular  ShuiJingFang brand. Diageo said it is reviewing its model but that it is ‘too early to signal any outcome’.

Matthew Barwell, said: ‘We are confident that this new Western Europe organisation will provide a tremendous platform for growth for our brands.  We will continue to focus on delivering breakthrough marketing content that delights consumers and that is increasingly participative in nature.’

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