AB InBev appoints Coke marketer as UK and Ireland brand chief

AB InBev has appointed senior Coca-Cola marketer Nick Robinson as its marketing director for the UK and Ireland.

AB InBev's new marketing chief for the UK and Ireland will assume responsibilities for brands such as Stella Artois.
AB InBev’s new marketing chief for the UK and Ireland will assume responsibilities for brands such as Stella Artois.

Robinson assumes responsibility for brands such as Stella Artois and Budweiser at a time when both are enjoying increased popularity in the region. Both beers grew market share this summer off the back of a World Cup that helped pushed volumes up 8.1% in the first half of 2014.

AB InBev hopes Robinson’s understanding of the soft drinks market will help maintain the sales momentum as it quickens efforts to woo a wider breadth of drinkers to the category.

The business is currently promoting its rum-flavoured Cubanisto beer to win over younger drinkers and is also supporting the biggest marketing campaign to date for its Leffe Blond beer.

Robinson replaces Jean-Jacques Velkeniers who has been promoted to the role of vice president of marketing for the brewer’s European business. Velkeniers took up the role earlier this year after steering the marketing strategies for the group’s brands in UK and Ireland for less than 12 months.

He joins from Coke where he was marketing director for Germany. He also worked at Diageo as marketing director for Guinness.

The changes in the UK and Ireland team come ahead of the arrival of pan-European executive Steve McAllister as AB InBev’s president for the region. He is to replace Inge Plochaet, who is leaving the brewer after 20 years, at the end of the year.

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