Anheuser Taps Gum, Candy Veteran For Marketing Post

Steve’s breakdown: Here’s the guy behind the “Stimulate Your Senses” campaign for Wrigley’s gum. Whether his success translates to the beer business is anybody’s guess but look for him to mix things up a bit in the coming months. And that would include an advertising review of some kind.

ST. LOUIS, MO: Beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev NV tapped a veteran of the gum and candy industry to try to rejuvenate its marketing in the U.S., where it draws nearly half its profits.

The brewer, struggling with declining U.S. sales volumes, picked Paul D. Chibe, a former vice president at Mars Inc.’s Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., to lead its U.S. marketing division. He replaces Keith Levy, who left the company earlier this year.

The hiring of Mr. Chibe, effective June 1, follows a global search by the maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois, which has posted eight consecutive quarters of declining U.S. sales to retailers, a key measure of industry performance.

Anheuser, the world’s largest brewer by sales, has faced weaker demand in the U.S. amid high unemployment among its core customers. The brewer also faces rising competition from small-batch “craft beers,” wine and spirits.

The brewer lost roughly a percentage point of market share last year, but it remains the biggest U.S. brewer by sales by a large measure over No. 2 player MillerCoors LLC. The company has used price increases and cost cutting to boost profits and offset weaker sales volumes.

“Paul has 20 years of marketing experience building diverse and well-known fast-moving consumer brands,”Dave Peacock, president of the U.S. unit of Leuven, Belgium-based Anheuser, said in a prepared statement. “We looked for someone with deep and wide experience in reaching today’s consumers.”

Mr. Chibe most recently served as vice president and general manager of the U.S. gum and mints business at Wrigley, where he worked for 11 years. Wrigley was acquired by Mars in 2008.

Mr. Chibe left Wrigley earlier this year, according to a profile posted on the networking website LinkedIn.

Mr. Chibe also worked in marketing at Quaker Oats Co. And he spent six years at Leaf Inc., a candy company that now is part of the Hershey Co.

News Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703864204576315653236183810.html
Their website: http://www.anheuser-busch.com/
Image was labeled for commercial reuse with modification at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevensnodgrass/3424087836/

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