John Smith’s chief is calm after two upheavals on his account.
Jerry Goldberg had a turbulent few months last year. First BMP DDB
resigned the Courage account - ending a 23-year relationship. Then in
August Courage itself was snapped up by the rival brewer, Scottish and
As the marketing controller at Courage in charge of its John Smith’s
brand, Goldberg was deeply affected by both changes.
Goldberg, who dubs himself the ‘ultimate survivor’, weathered the merger
and this April left his home in Surrey to join the newly merged Scottish
Courage’s Edinburgh headquarters, where he now works on brands including
John Smith’s and Courage Best.
Goldberg, 32, is in a chirpy mood. This week GGT’s first film for John
Smith’s hits the nation’s TV screens (Campaign, last week). ‘When BMP
resigned the business it was a shock, totally out of the blue,’ Goldberg
explains. ‘But as it turned out, it’s been no where near as tricky as it
could have been. After a month we knew it would work with GGT. It was
clear the guys there understood the brand.’
GGT’s first attempt retains Jack Dee, a mandatory ‘fixed point’, but
dumps the penguins. But (surprise, surprise) Dee’s feathered friends
make a triumphant return in the second GGT ad.
Goldberg enjoys working with a brand with a strong advertising heritage.
‘In marketing it’s very difficult to get tangible returns for what you
put in. A good ad gives you results,’ he adds.
With that, Goldberg proudly reveals the latest brand statistics for John
Smith’s. A year ago, he states, it was trailing the market leader,
Tetley. Now it has overtaken Tetley, taking an 11.9 per cent share of
Goldberg, a maths and physics graduate, is delighted with his career in
beer. As part of his job he is forced to take part in regular beer-
testing sessions - strictly for research purposes, of course.
But does he regret anything about his move to Scotland? Well, yes.
Goldberg misses Saturday football with his Surrey team - he has yet to
find an Edinburgh club prepared to take him on.