Coca-Cola team shake up overdue

Coca-Cola’s plans to overhaul its European marketing structure are long overdue, according to insiders close to the brand.

Last week, the company said it wanted to “simplify the way we do business” by being “more efficient, faster to market and increasing the scale of our activities across Europe”.

These changes are much needed according to Louis Heinsz, a former research and development officer at Coca-Cola and now co-founder at Emerald Coast Holdings.

“Coke’s marketing is irrationally infatuated with the differences between the people of Europe. Coke does not need marketing in every country or region if there isn’t a large bottling operation or large customer headquarters there. Coke must find a way to eliminate the vast duplication in marketing in everything it does,” he says.

The company is looking at slashing costs to achieve $500m (£325m) in annual savings by the end of next year. In its first quarter results, published earlier this week, the company said it was “well on track to achieve this”.

Insiders suggest the company’s European marketing operations will move to London, where GB marketing director Cathryn Sleight is believed to be stepping down, in a move as yet unconfirmed by the company. This year, Sleight has overseen eight ad UK campaigns.

Daniel Dumoulin, partner at FMCG brand specialists Sundance, says a centralised approach would help speed up realisation of the company’s ambitions.

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