Paddy Power poaches Bacardi global brand director

Bookmaker Paddy Power has appointed Bacardi’s global brand director Christian Woolfenden as its marketing director to help continue the success of its “unconventional” campaigns.

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Woolfenden replaces Barni Evans, who recently switched roles to lead marketing for Paddy Power’s Australian division and its Sportsbet and IASbet brands.

At Bacardi, Woolfenden was responsible for product innovation, consumer engagement and trade advocacy for the brand across all markets. Woolfenden also spent eight years at Procter & Gamble and held the position of marketing manager for the company’s £450m laundry portfolio, which includes the Fairy, Ariel and Bold brands.

Patrick Kennedy, CEO of Paddy Power, says: “Paddy Power’s business and success have been built around our brand. It is an enormous point of difference against our competitors, as the only brand with a real personality in our sector globally. I know it will continue to thrive under the leadership of Christian and our current marketing team.”

Recent Paddy Power campaigns include signing up former Miss Wales Imogen Thomas, the woman accused of having an affair with Manchester United player Ryan Giggs, for a print ad campaign reading: “Imogen can’t keep quiet about this”.

Paddy Power also topped the table for the most complained about television ad of 2010, which featured a blind football player kicking a cat.

Rival Betfair also recently launched a “cheeky” advertising deal that will see it placing QR codes on Great Britain’s female beach volleyball team’s bums during London 2012.

Paddy Power said a surge in online and mobile bets helped it to boost operating profit 25% year on year to €45.3m in the first half of 2011. Novelty bets in particular, such as a price of 250-1 for the name of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s baby being named “Lay-Z”, helped draw in new customers to the brand.

The Irish bookmaker’s retail division added 21 new outlets in the period and expects to open as many as 40 shops each year on the high street looks to grow its UK presence.

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