German sportswear brand Puma has poached Pernod Ricard marketer Roger Harrison to be its head of marketing for the UK and Ireland.
Harrison replaces David Learmonth, who was ousted from the role at the end of last month following a management reshuffle (MW February 1, 2006). Managing director Andrew Peters also left the company at the end of last year.
It is understood that Harrison will report directly to Puma UK managing director Tony Ward, who replaced Peters, and will have responsibility for overseeing the company’s brand strategy.
Harrison joined Pernod Ricard UK as head of marketing for white spirits and specialties from Bacardi Brown Forman Brands, where he was marketing controller for its Bombay Sapphire and Bacardi Breezer labels, in May 2005. At Pernod, Harrison was responsible for planning, directing and implementing marketing campaigns for its growing spirits portfolio, including Havana Club and Olmeca tequila.
He will be replaced at Pernod by Jo Spencer, who has been promoted from marketing manager for Malibu and Pernod to head of marketing for Vodka, Malibu and Havana Club. Spencer, who has been in the role for just over a year, will move across to the new position on February 26.
Last year, Puma was accused of promoting "gangster culture" when it launched a range of trainers featuring images of machine guns and the message "I steal for a living". It also launched a range of sports underwear called Naked as part of a tie-up with designer Philippe Starck.