Andy Neal, the consumer marketing director of spirits business United Distillers UK, is leaving after his counterpart at IDV UK, Tony Scouller, was appointed marketing director for the combined operation.
Neal is the latest victim of the merger between Guinness, UD’s parent, and Grand Metropolitan, parent of IDV, which formed Diageo. The creation of the new spirits division UDV – the largest spirits distributor in the world – will lead to 2,000 job losses worldwide, with dozens of marketing positions axed.
Neal has the option to remain at UD’s Cherry-bank office at Perth until September, when the entire UD marketing department will move to UDV’s head office in Harlow, Essex.
He has been UD UK’s marketing director for five years, and has worked at the company for 11 years. He says his most important contributions have been successful lobbying for spirits to advertise on TV and repositioning the Gordon’s Gin brand towards a younger market.
Neal says he turned down global brand management roles in UDV. “I spent a year in a central European role, but I found it frustrating. It’s better to stay closer to consumers and the markets,” says Neal. “I am looking at other possibilities, including general management.”
One of the most pressing tasks for Scouller as UDV marketing chief is to decide on its roster of agencies. IDV’s main agencies are Court Burkitt & Company, Lowe Howard-Spink and Young & Rubicam, while UD uses WCRS, Leo Burnett and St Luke’s. It is thought Scouller will trim the roster to three agencies.