Saab duo exit after strategy row

Saab GB has parted company with its two most senior marketing executives following criticism of its Swedish parent’s marketing strategy (MW March 10).

General marketing manager Geoff Acton and advertising manager Debi Wadsted left the company at the end of last week. The two are the architects of Saab GB’s present ú4m ad campaign – the company’s first UK-produced television work for seven years, created by Barker & Ralston.

The firm claims they “have resigned to pursue their own interests. It was an amicable parting”, says a spokesman.

But the departures come ahead of an international marketing meeting in Stockholm – that will decide the future global marketing strategy for the marque – and midway through an ad campaign that Acton and Wadsted were very committed to.

The Swedish parent is keen to establish Saab GB as a global brand supported by a single marketing strategy.

It recruited Swedish agency Lowe Brindfors, part of the Lowe Group, in February last year to handle all international creative work. However, Saab GB wanted the freedom to develop a more independent identity for the brand in the UK and this led to tension with Stockholm.

The departure of Acton and Wadsted could undermine Barker & Ralston’s hold on the Saab GB business – which it has held since February 1994.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here