Diageo focuses on category-led marketing globally and adds BBH to its roster

Diageo has restructured parts of its global marketing team in a bid to work more efficiently under a category led approach. The move also sees Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) scooping its £40m global advertising account for Baileys.


The company says the changes have been made to reflect “the increased focus on category management within Diageo.”

The new category director roles will be accountable for conceiving a total category strategy and delivering that strategy across Diageo’s portfolio

As a result of the shift towards alcohol categories, two new category head roles have been created: global category director for vodka, gin and rums and global category director for whisky.

David Gates, currently global brand director for Johnnie Walker will become the new global category director – whisky, from 1 July.

Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) marketing and innovation director Edward Pilkington will become the new global category director – vodka, gin and rums, from 1 August.

There will be no change to the Guinness and Baileys global brand teams.

Diageo’s Reserve brand group, managed by Rodolphe Paoli, will now also report directly into Andy Fennell, chief marketing officer for Diageo, who is profiled in this week’s Marketing Week.

Fennell says: “This move towards a category approach in marketing will enable Diageo to move more quickly to access faster growth, reaching all the relevant price points and motivations and adopting a simpler approach. We believe this is the right move to evolve the business to meet the demands of the ever changing environment and deliver our growth targets.”

Meanwhile, Baileys, the Diageo-owned Irish liqueur brand, has appointed BBH to handle its £40m global advertising account after parting ways with JWT in March.

Philip Almond, global brand director for Baileys says: “The quality of thinking and ideas from all four agencies surpassed our expectations, producing challenging thinking and brilliant work – not surprising given the line up of agencies we asked to participate.”

The restructure will also see current global category director whisky, gins and reserve brands, Alberto Gavazzi, become general manager, North and SouthLAC business clusters, within the Latin America and Caribbean region of Diageo International.

The replacement for the Johnnie Walker global brand director and marketing and innovation director for Latin America will be announced once they have been appointed.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Fennell urged marketers to be business minded and not undersell themselves as a provider of “creative services”.

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