Bulmers has promoted its UK consumer marketing director Jon Eggleton to group marketing director, as the cider giant battles against what chief executive Mike Hughes calls a “tidal wave of ready-to drink (RTD) products”.
In his new role, Eggleton will have worldwide responsibility for all of its brands, and a seat on the main board.
Bulmers is also surrendering UK marketing and distribution for packaged Red Stripe beer to Charles Wells, which brews and markets the draught version in the UK. Charles Wells also distributes and markets the Diageo-owned cult Jamaican brand in Europe.
Charles Wells’ commercial director Nigel McNally says the brewer plans to increase the ad budget for Red Stripe significantly and bring UK advertising in line with the rest of the world. Agencies will be reviewed immediately. It is thought unlikely that incumbent TBWA/London will repitch, as it is also the incumbent for Bulmers’ advertising and is a Scottish Courage roster agency.
Bulmer’s figures, released this week, show RTD brands were a major factor in Bulmers’ 26 per cent drop in pre-tax, pre-exceptional profits, to £21.1m from £28.6m for the year ending April 2002.
Bulmers new RTD Bambao, which has a Brazilian theme, is on trial in selected UK markets (MW April 25). Bulmers claims Bambao is performing well, but another, as yet unnamed, product launch – thought to be a revolutionary widget-based mixer called Storm – is still delayed.