CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK; Tango’s main man is no rebel

David Atter refuses to take the credit for the success of Tango, Karen Yates says

David Atter refuses to take the credit for the success of Tango, Karen

Yates says

From vending machine salesman to the force behind the Tango ads, David

Atter has always been a Britvic man. And he’s clearly a caring, sharing


If you chat to Tango’s marketing manager, however briefly, about the

quirky youth drink, he will insist that it was not he alone who sent

sales soaring by 34 per cent. ‘It’s a team effort,’ he explains, for the

third time. ‘It’s a genuine collaboration between Howell Henry

Chaldecott Lury and Britvic.’

Atter is reluctant to name any interests outside of marketing. However,

15 minutes of solid questioning reveals that he enjoys singing, although

only as part of a choir.

Born in Lincolnshire, Atter sees himself as half Scottish because he

spent his formative years in the Highlands. Besides, his seat of

learning was Edinburgh University and he married a Scot. In fact, his

first job - selling Pepsi Cola vending machines - was also north of the


For the past four years, the 28-year-old Atter has been happily

ensconced at Britvic’s marketing headquarters in Chelmsford, Essex.

Having started on juices, and then soft drinks, he worked his way up and

is now running Tango’s expanded stable of orange, lemon, blackcurrant

and apple flavours - both here and abroad.

It was Atter (not alone, of course) who helped steer Tango through its

magical transformation from a sleepy fruit drink to the third biggest

soft drink in the country, and a youth cult phenomenon to boot.

Latterly, he gave the go-ahead for a seriously offbeat campaign to

relaunch Lemon Tango (Campaign, last week).

Though he is happy to row against the mainstream tide in advertising,

Atter is no rebel. He’s an ordinary bloke who lives with his wife and

their three-month-old baby in the Essex commuter belt.

Given Tango’s positioning and ads, you’d think Atter spent a lot of time

at raves and gigs. In reality, he enjoys squash and swimming and is

devoted to his local Pentecostal church.

It just goes to show that you don’t have to be one to sell to one.