Disney lures Smirnoff brand chief

The Disney Channel has poached Thom Noble, Diageo’s regional vice-president of Pierre Smirnoff, as its new director of marketing.

Noble replaces the family cable channel’s former marketing director Michael Spencer, who is leaving the company to set up his own marketing and advertising consultancy. Noble takes up the post in January.

Noble reports to the channel’s vice-president and managing director Paul Robinson, who was appointed to his role at the beginning of this month.

Robinson was the managing director at Talk Radio until he lost control of the station in October to Kelvin MacKenzie’s News International-backed consortium.

While he worked at Pierre Smirnoff, Noble was the lead strategist for the brands across western Europe, including the red and black brands and the Smirnoff Mule pre-mixed spirit drink.

Robinson says: “Thom Noble has an exceptional track record of accelerating the development of high profile brands. He brings with him a real obsession about understanding the consumer and an impressive blend of strategic and operational skills.”

Noble says of his move: “There can be few more fascinating and fast-changing sectors at this time.”

The Disney Channel has 3.5 million subscribers in the UK and was launched in October 1995.

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