Adidas hires global ad chief

Adidas has created the role of global advertising director and appointed Coca-Cola’s former European advertising director Neil Simpson to the post.

Simpson, who moved to the Amsterdam office of the sportswear company on Monday, has been brought in to expand the world wide sports brand’s advertising department.

He will report to Adidas’ vice-president of marketing communications Tom Harrington.

Simpson was based at Coke’s head office in Atlanta for two years,where he oversaw the 300m advertising budget for the Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite brands in all European markets. He was also responsible for worldwide sports sponsorship.

He originally joined Coke as European advertising manager from the company’s roster agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, where he was account director for four years.

Simpson was promoted to director level at Coke in September last year, when vice-president and director of advertising David Wheldon, to whom he reported, was replaced by Ian Rowden. Simpson says he has no intention of reviewing the 20m worldwide account, which is currently held by Leagas Delaney.

“Although I will be developing all advertising [for Adidas], the key thing is going to be building a dedicated and experienced advertising department,” says Simpson.

He adds: “There were few things which would have tempted me away from Coke, but there are exciting times ahead at Adidas.”

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