Matthew Clark appoints Guinness Euro chief

Cider maker Matthew Clark has appointed Guinness Europe marketing chief Rob MacNevin as its new marketing director.

He joins the company with a seat on the board and a brief to oversee a huge increase in marketing investment. This forms part of Matthew Clark’s plans for recovery following a disastrous year.

MacNevin will oversee brands, including the Blackthorn range of ciders, Diamond White, Stone’s Ginger Wine and Stowells of Chelsea wine boxes.

MacNevin says: “High on my list for the future will be new product development.”

He was appointed to the new role of marketing and business development director for Guinness Europe after four years at the helm of the UK marketing operation (MW September 8 1995).

Guinness sales in Europe are about a quarter the size of those in the UK, but is seen as offering potential for growth, unlike the saturated UK beer market.

During his tenure as marketing director for Guinness Brewing GB, leaks about a TV advertisement featuring a gay couple kissing prompted much unwelcome publicity for the brewing giant.

The ad, which Guinness describes as “an urban myth”, was part of the Black and White campaign which replaced the long-running Rutger Hauer ads.

MacNevin oversaw this transition and was also behind a number of product launches, which met with varying success. He was responsible for the award-winning launch of canned Draught Guinness, the first draught product in a can, but also for flops such as Cherry’s bitter and Enigma.

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