UD overhauls spirit brands management

United Distillers is introducing sweeping changes to its UK marketing structure, in a bid to turn around the disappointing performance of leading brands Bell’s whisky and Gordon’s gin.

The restructure aims to focus more tightly on marketing to the drinks trade, where the company’s top brands have been hit by stiff price competition between UK spirits brands.

The company has created six “trade channels” and has removed control of trade marketing from marketing director Andy Neal. His title changes to director of consumer marketing, and he will concentrate on brand strategy.

Each of the six new trade channels will have its own director. The new divisions will combine sales, marketing, finance and distribution.

The off-trade operation is split into three units. Multiple grocers will be headed by Nick Garland, a former sales controller; George Thomson, former marketing controller for Classic Malts and Johnnie Walker, becomes director for specialist off-licences; and Gordon Willoughby joins from UD’s central marketing unit to direct the convenience stores and cash and carry unit.

In the on-trade – sales through licensed premises – Kim Williams, a former trade marketing controller, becomes director for venture outlets – youth bars and clubs.

A director has yet to be appointed for traditional outlets.

The new structure, which takes effect in April, has been brought in after a review by UK managing director Gerd Biedenbacher, who joined in June last year.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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 will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

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