AB Inbev names Budweiser marketing chief

AB InBev has appointed former Heineken UK marketing director Iain Newell to lead marketing for its flagship Budweiser brand in Western Europe as the brewer looks to increase its market share outside the US.

Newell’s appointment to the marketing director role follows a recent vow by the brewer to continue to invest in brands such as Budweiser to capitalise on recent sales gains.

In August, the company announced Budweiser volumes increased by 70% in the second quarter of 2010 boosted by its status as official beer of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Budweiser leveraged its FIFA partnership by launching a global marketing campaign that aimed to grow the brand outside of its home US market.
Newell will also head marketing for its recently launched Bud 66. The first television campaign for the lower-alcohol variant focused on the drink being lightly carbonated.

At launch, the drinks maker, which also owns the Beck’s and Leffe brands, said that the drink is aimed at consumers in their early 20s that have a desire for something “new and different”.

Newell replaces James Watson, who took over as marketing director for Stella Artois in July.

He joins from wine company E&J Gallo where he was European marketing director. In addition to Heineken UK, he has previously held senior roles at Interbrew, Bestfoods and Unilever.

Stuart MacFarlane, president of AB InBev UK, says that Newell will play an “important” role in building on Budweiser’s “fantastic year thus far”.

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