The two most senior marketers at Marston Thompson & Evershed have retained their positions following a hostile takeover by fellow regional brewer Wolverhampton & Dudley (W&D).
The marketing structure of the combined company was announced this week, after W&D paid 285m for Staffordshire-based Marston in February.
Although W&D’s marketing director Paul Gilham has taken the most senior marketing position as group marketing director, John Steel, formerly brands director for Marston, remains with the company. He is now director of lagers, overseeing Harp Irish Lager. W&D took over the marketing of Harp from Guinness last year.
Stephen Oliver, formerly Marston’s most senior marketer and managing director of brewing, has also stayed as head of W&D’s 700 tenanted pubs.
But the balance of power appears to lie with marketers from W&D. In addition to Gilham’s position, the combined company’s biggest brands, Marston’s Pedigree, Bank’s and Cameron’s, will be handled by W&D’s director of brands Malcolm Todd.
It is unclear how the company will use its advertising agency roster. W&D denies any review of agencies is planned for the “immediate future”. Walsh Trott Chick Smith handles Marston’s Pedigree, the biggest brand in the portfolio. Publicis handled Harp when it was with Guinness, and Wallis Tomlinson has taken over Bank’s Bitter from Partners BDDH.