The Sun’s top marketer to leave

The Sun’s marketing director Rob Painter is to leave News International after 15 years at the publisher.

Rob Painter
Rob Painter

It is not yet known whether he has a job to go to. News International is currently recruiting for his replacement

The departure will come in the some month News International will launch its “Sun+” package, which will give readers access to Sun content – including Premier League highlights – across the web and mobile devices for £2 per week.  

The launch will be a test of whether Sun readers will be willing to pay for content on the web and if it can garner a return on its £20m three-year Premier League broadcast rights deal. Sister title The Times has charged for access to its website since 2010 and lost 4 million unique visitors in the month after launch, according to comScore, and the most recent National Readership Survey PADD report (January to December 2012) found The Times has the lowest total readership of any other quality newspaper brand.

Painter has been a driver behind a number of other significant launches during his tenure at News International, including The Sun on Sunday. The title is the biggest in the Sunday market and had a circulation of 1.9 million in April, down 17 per cent year on year, according to the latest ABC figures. 

The most recent major marketing campaign with Painter’s involvement was The Sun’s “Big Smile Giveaway” initiative, which ran for three months from January. The TV ad for the initiative starred a gap-toothed girl girl singing about reasons the promotion offered viewers reasons to be cheerful. 

Painter became marketing director of The Sun in 2011, having held several marketing, insight and strategic planning roles at the company since 1998. He currently reports into News International chief marketing officer Katie Vanneck-Smith.

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