Diageo names global Smirnoff brand chief

Diageo has promoted marketing and innovation director for Australia Matt Bruhn to replace the outgoing Simon Burch as the global brand director for its flagship Smirnoff vodka brand.


Bruhn starts in the role next month and will report to David Gates, head of premium core brands.

He assumes oversight of Smirnoff’s marketing worldwide and will be tasked with managing its revamped brand strategy following the appointment of its new global agency 72andSunny last month. Diageo wants to refresh the flagship brand in an attempt to stay ahead of rivals such as Absolut, which has just unveiled a long term marketing platform to boost its appeal with younger, more affluent drinkers.

Bruhn has held a number of senior roles at the company including senior vice president of its vodka, rum and tequila brands and most recently headed up Diageo’s marketing and innovation activity in Australia. He is credited with repositioning the  Bundaberg Rum in the region through the introduction of more premium products.

He replaces Simon Burch who is leaving the business after seven years to pursue other opportunities.

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