Beer brewers appoint former Guinness marketer to lead push to lift sales

Beer chiefs have appointed former Guinness marketer David Cunningham to lead the industry’s multi-million “Let There Be Beer” campaign to arrest falling beer sales after its launch last year drew criticism. 

Video: “Let There Be Beer” launch ad

Cunningham takes on the newly created programme director role and assumes responsibility for developing new media partnerships to educate drinkers on beer experiences as well as promoting a wider range of beers beyond mainstream brands.

The “Let There Be Beer” initiative, which is funded by brewing giants including AB-InBev and Heineken, launched last June with ads that promoted different consumption occasions for beer including barbeques. It was met by criticism at the time from beer bloggers and analysts for focusing too much on the bigger beer brands. It was also highlighted that the campaign needed to do more to push the benefits of drinking beer over other alcohol categories.

Cunningham says the venture would ultimately like to have all beers in the UK featured on the site adding “One of our aims is to showcase as many [beers] as possible, encouraging people to discover this wonderful range of flavours and tastes”. The website now lists around 400 beers and the initiative has around 129,000 Facebook fans and more than 3,000 Twitter followers.

Cunningham was previously chief marketing officer at Accolades Wines. He has also held several senior roles across the industry most notably global marketing director of Guinness.

The next phase of Let There Be Beer is set to launch in the coming months with the campaign backed by more than 48 breweries in the UK.

The deadline is approaching to submit your best work for the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2014. Entries are open until Friday 21 February and you can find out more at www.marketingweekawards.co.uk.

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