GSK ad chief Blakemore to retire in 2003

UK advertising director of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) consumer healthcare division and industry veteran John Blakemore is to retire in June next year.

Blakemore controls an annual budget of &£40m and has responsibility for managing and implementing media strategy across the consumer healthcare division. The division includes over-the-counter medicines, oral care and nutritional healthcare – with the latter including brands Ribena and Lucozade. The company has begun the search for a successor.

Blakemore has worked on both sides of the industry, having joined SmithKline Beecham in July 1991 from Ogilvy & Mather, where his last position was broadcast buying director.

Blakemore’s experience has meant a close involvement with agency appointments and he oversaw the pitch for the GSK media buying and planning account last September, which followed the consolidation of the company’s consumer and nutritional healthcare divisions. The pitch was won by MediaCom.

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