Mairi Clark talks to Alistair Whalley about his effort to nurture
Wrigley’s was the first high-level client to pull out of TBWA following
the merger with Simons Palmer earlier this year, and to follow Trevor
Beattie to GGT. Last week, GGT’s first work for the Spearmint Gum brand
went on air - a road-movie featuring a pair of spaced-out lovers waxing
lyrical about Wrigley’s (Campaign, 4 July).
Alistair Whalley, Wrigley’s UK marketing manager, admits he transferred
the Spearmint business because of his working relationship with
’When we parted company with Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO in September last
year, and put the account out to pitch, Trevor and Graham Arkell (TBWA’s
former managing director) led TBWA’s pitch. It seemed strange to keep
Wrigley’s with the agency when Graham left and then Trevor. They sold us
the original idea and I wanted to work with them on it, so I followed
them to GGT,’ he says.
The new work is similar to Wrigley’s best known ad for the brand
featuring a couple on a Greyhound bus, only this time the approach is
Whalley says: ’We wanted to make people feel more comfortable with the
brand. Wrigley’s is seen as an ’original’ brand so we didn’t want a
complete departure from the ’last stick’ campaign.’
Whalley switched to a marketing degree from law at Liverpool University.
He secured a graduate trainee position at Fyffes, moving to Hovis after
18 months as a marketing executive.
Whalley has worked at Wrigley’s for nearly 18 years, having joined in
1980 from Fisons, where he was an assistant brand manager. He started as
a brand manager on Wrigley’s Hubba Bubba brand and quickly moved to be
brand manager on the complete range of Wrigley’s products. For five
years he has been marketing manager responsible for the UK, Ireland,
Spain, Italy and Portugal.
’I get a kick out of developing products into campaigns and since I’ve
been at Wrigley’s, the business has doubled. Being involved with that is
thrilling,’ he says.