Coca-Cola promotes from within for new UK marketing director

Louise Maugest will lead UK marketing operations, replacing Kris Robbens who takes on a global role as senior director of brand strategy at the soft drink giant.


Coca-Cola Great Britain has appointed Louise Maugest as its new UK marketing boss, replacing Kris Robbens following his promotion to senior director of brand strategy in the global team.

In her role as frontline activation marketing director, Maugest will be responsible for new product launches across Coca-Cola’s brands in the UK, with a view to sustaining the beverage company’s long-term growth. She reports to The Coca-Cola Company’s north marketing director Evelyne De Leersnyder, who oversees operations in the UK, Ireland and the Nordics.

Maugest was promoted to the hot seat from her previous role of marketing manager for new beverages in Great Britain. She joined the drinks giant seven years ago, holding several senior roles including marketing manager for Coca-Cola in Western Europe.

In her previous position, Maugest played “an important role” in rolling out marketing strategies and launching new brands such as Coca-Cola Energy, Costa ready-to-drink and most recently Topo Chico Hard Seltzer.

Prior to Coke, Maugest served as assistant brand manager for Braun at Procter & Gamble and as an apprentice in strategic marketing at mobile operator Orange, amassing over a decade’s worth of marketing experience.

Coca-Cola to hold marketing spend in countries with slow vaccine rollout

She replaces Robbens who was promoted to brand strategy senior director in the global team after two years serving as Great Britain and Ireland marketing director.

Commenting on her promotion, Maugest describes this as a “pivotal time” for Coca-Cola in the UK: “As we navigate an uncertain path out of the pandemic, we need to ensure we keep pace with changing consumer habits and continue creating dynamic brand experiences that bring our products to life.”

The past 12 months have proved a learning curve for Coke. Describing the pandemic as the “toughest and most complex” period in its history, the company announced in July 2020 that it was culling “zombie brands” which accounted for just 2% of the company’s total revenue.

CEO James Quincey credited the streamlining project with enabling the business to “identify the greatest opportunities” and reallocate investments, hinting in February that marketing budgets could rise to levels seen in 2019.

However, earlier this week Quincey warned marketing spend will be put on hold for markets with slower Covid-19 vaccination programmes and rising cases. Speaking on the brand’s first-quarter results call (19 April), he said pandemic-related lockdowns continue to impact markets, which could greatly affect how Coca-Cola distributes marketing spend over the coming year.

“If we see demand is coming in at the higher end and more reopenings [of markets] happen quickly and revenue starts accelerating, we will also likely re-accelerate the restitution of marketing spend,” Quincey added.