UK marketing chief quits Coca-Cola

The former head of marketing for the Coca-Cola brand in the UK, James Saunders, has quit the company to launch an Internet start-up.

Saunders was most recently in charge of Coca-Cola’s involvement in the &£50m millennium festival national programme, including the recent Shine on Glasgow Coca-Cola event.

The programme, which like the Millennium Dome is being co-ordinated by the New Millennium Experience Company, launches on March 5 and involves local community activities across the UK. It is also being backed by sponsors such as Tesco and BT.

Coca-Cola signed up as a festival sponsor and as official supplier of soft drinks to the Dome last year.

As marketing manager for the Coca-Cola brand, Saunders – who is the son of disgraced former Guinness chief executive Ernest Saunders – was responsible for all Coke activity in the UK. He joined the company in 1995, as brand project manager.

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