Pernod Ricard appoints whisky marketing chief

Drinks giant Pernod Ricard has appointed former Manor Bakeries marketing chief Karen Ursell as head of its whisky brands in a wider overhaul of its marketing department.

Ursell will oversee marketing for whisky brands such as Jameson, Glenlivet, Bushmills and Black Bush. She replaces Adriaan Eksteen, who has been moved to the newly created position of head of marketing for light spirits. Chris Searle’s position as head of marketing for the company’s wine brands is expected to be unaffected by the changes.

Ursell’s appointment is the final part of a wider restructure at the company sparked by the arrival of John Grieveson, the deputy managing director of First Drinks Brands, as its marketing director this summer (MW March 25). Grieveson took over from Mark Davis, who was promoted to the new role of marketing development director.

Prior to Pernod Ricard, Ursell was previously general manager of marketing at Manor Bakeries. She was appointed to the top marketing position for brands such as Mr Kipling Cakes and Cadbury’s Cakes at the company in 1999 (MWMay 13, 1999). Before Manor Bakeries, Ursell held marketing positions at RJ Reynolds and Gillette.

Earlier this year, Pernod Ricard appointed TBWA/London to handle its £2m Martell cognac advertising account (MW June 10). The agency also holds the brand’s global ad business.

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