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.”

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