Coca-Cola loyalty head leaves firm

Coca-Cola’s UK head of loyalty Graham Horner has left the company after three years with the soft drinks giant. He has been replaced by HMV marketer Paul Sinclair, who joins as senior loyalty manager.

Coke Zone
Coke Zone

It is understood that Horner will be joining the Telegraph Media Group, publishers of the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, to help mastermind the media outlet’s customer retention strategy.

At Coca-Cola Great Britain, Horner was responsible for the business’ first digital rewards programme, ’Coke Zone’.

He joined the company in 2007, after spending five years working for Loyalty Management UK, former operators of the Nectar programme. At Nectar, he managed numerous direct marketing programmes, including the creation of the points update mailing.

He is also a former executive at loyalty specialist agency dunnhumby, where he helped to develop customer segmentation and insight strategies for clients including BT, Centrica and Orange.

Coca-Cola launched Coke Zone as its first reward scheme specifically for the UK in October 2007, shortly after Horner joined. Carlson Marketing – the lead agency on ’Coke Zone’ – designed the new site, and oversaw the revamp, alongside digital design agency Flourish, with Sapient responsible for web integration.

Its aim is to build brand loyalty across its portfolio of drinks and it has worked with partners in the music, fashion and entertainment sectors including EA Games, The O2 arena an the Football League. Its most recent promotion has seen it offering free copies of Heat, Grazia, Closer and more! and Asos clothes, as part of a fashionista campaign running on packs of Diet Coke this summer.

Meanwhile, consumers drinking Coke will be rewarded with millions of ’Happy Prizes’ on the site as part of its ongoing “Open Happiness” ad push. However, the random nature of the prizes has left some consumers expressing disappointment on the site, forcing Coke to explain the legality of the promotion.

A Coca-Cola GB spokesperson confirmed Horner’s departure and said a replacement had been appointed in former HMV marketer, Paul Sinclair.

“Following the departure of Graham Horner, Coca-Cola GB are delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Sinclair as senior loyalty manager. Paul joins Coca-Cola from HMV, where he was responsible for implementing and managing many initiatives, including the successful launch of HMV’s rewards scheme,” the spokesperson says.

They add: “Coke Zone continues to be a strategic priority for us and is evidence of our commitment to deepening our engagement with consumers by rewarding them for their loyalty to us.”

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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