Pernod Ricard the company behind brands including Malibu, Jameson and Absolut Vodka, has promoted its UK marketing director Patrick Venning to a global role heading up marketing at its Scotch whisky business.
Venning has been at Pernod Ricard for almost 13 years, initially as head of marketing in the UK before being promoted to marketing director in 2011. Prior to that he had worked in marketing at brands including Drambuie and Birds Eye. His new role is as global marketing director for Ballantine’s Finest and Introduction to Scotch Portfolio at Chivas Brothers. Venning is also a member of the Marketing Week Vision 100.
Pernod Ricard is replacing Venning with Philip Ainsworth, who will begin his new role on 3 July and report into managing director Laurent Pillet. Ainsowrth joined the company in 2008 and has worked in a number of roles, most recently as marketing director for Wyborowa Pernod Ricard, based in Poland.
“Our marketing department continues to inspire and innovate the industry, by consistently delivering engaging campaigns for our premium portfolio of leading brands. This is testament to Patrick’s leadership and we’ve ensured his successor possesses the same drive and determination to make us stand out,” says Pillet.
Pernod Ricard has upped its focus on innovation and ecommerce, and is using the Internet of Things to create more experiences. It turned its Malibu bottles into “digital touchpoints” that offered customers access to exclusive content by tapping on the bottle.
It is also moving its media spend towards digital, having increased the proportion of digital expenditure from 31% to 40% in 2016. While the company’s sales were up 2% year on year in 2016 to €8.7bn (£7.3bn), the UK performance was labelled as “strong”.