GSK man behind Lara tie-up moves to Ireland

GlaxoSmithKline vice-president of marketing – the man who introduced Lara Croft as the face of Lucozade Energy – has been promoted to run GSK’s Consumer Healthcare operations in Ireland.

Peter Harding, who also oversaw the recent pitch for the Lucozade Sport advertising account at the end of last year, heads marketing for GSK Nutritional Healthcare in the UK. He moves next month to become vice-president and general manager for the Irish division.

Harding joined SmithKline Beecham in February 1997 as Lucozade category director from the position of marketing controller for Foster’s at Scottish Courage. He was promoted to vice-president of marketing in 2000 and has been responsible for brands such as Horlicks, Lucozade and Ribena.

In Ireland, Harding replaces John Sayers who has been appointed vice-president and general manager of GSK’s Consumer Healthcare business in central and Eastern Europe.

Harding recently oversaw the review of the &£4m Lucozade Sport account which moved out of Ogilvy & Mather to M&C Saatchi (MW January 9). He moves at a time when Lucozade Sport is developing a number of brand extensions including a carbo-gel, cereal bars and flavoured water.

While at Scottish Courage Harding oversaw the relaunch of John Smith’s Bitter, which saw the introduction of comedian Jack Dee as the face of the ale’s advertising campaigns.

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