UDV promotes J&B boss to global head of whisky

United Distillers & Vintners (UDV) has promoted J&B global marketing director Richard Watling to head its Scotch whisky business as category director.

United Distillers & Vintners (UDV) has promoted J&B global marketing director Richard Watling to head its Scotch whisky business as category director.

Watling will be replaced by Johnnie Walker global marketing director Iain Kennedy. His replacement will be sought internally.

The Scotch role became vacant last November when Rob Malcolm was appointed UDV global marketing director.

A UDV spokesman says: “Watling’s main challenge will be to drive top-line growth for the whole of the Scotch whisky category.

“He will be focusing on our global priority brands: red and black label Johnnie Walker, J&B and the classic malts. Watling will also be responsible for the overall protection of Scotch whisky’s brand reputation.”

Watling is expected to liaise with the Scotch Whisky Association and other bodies to promote Scotch throughout the world.

Kennedy is likely to push for continued growth of J&B in the US, which according to Merrill Lynch accounts for seven per cent of the country’s Scotch whisky market.

J&B is UDV’s top-selling Scotch brand in Spain, with 35 per cent of the country’s Scotch whisky market, according to Merrill.

UDV is reviewing the ad account of UK market leader Bell’s Scotch whisky.

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