AG Barr poaches P&G marketer

AG Barr, the Scottish soft drinks company behind Irn Bru and Tizer, has appointed Jonathan Kemp to the new role of commercial director.

Kemp’s role replaces that of sales and marketing director, which was left vacant when long-serving incumbent James Dawson left in June (MW June 5). Kemp holds a position on the board and will report to managing director Roger White.

Kemp joins from Procter & Gamble, where he was customer marketing manager at its Iams petfood business. He worked in a variety of sales and marketing positions at P&G.

Day-to-day marketing responsibilities at Barr are handled by marketing manager Nigel Dugdale. The company uses Leith Agency for its creative campaigns and the company has come under fire on grounds of bad taste in some of its advertising.

The latest Irn Bru ad shows a bikini-clad girl with the slogan “I never knew 4.5 inches could give me so much pleasure.” An earlier campaign, showing an unborn baby drinking Irn Bru in the womb, was investigated by the Independent Television Commission after it received 38 complaints.

Irn Bru is under siege in its Scottish heartland after Coca-Cola claimed to be Scotland’s top- selling drink last month, based on Nielsen figures for supermarket and impulse sales. However, Barr reported record sales for the first half of the year, up 16 per cent on the same period in 2002, delivering pre-tax profits of &£7.2m.

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