Coca-Cola GB promotes marketer Oades to president

LONDON - High-flying Coke marketer Charlotte Oades has been made president of Coca-Cola Great Britain, with incumbent Tom Long promoted to president for North-West Europe.

Oades, who was only elevated to commercial director in the summer, is one of the first women to run the UK market for the soft drinks giant.

She will continue to report to Long, the incumbent British president, who has extended his brief to cover Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Julia Goldin, who took over Oades' previous role as marketing director in July, will continue to report to her.

Oades became Coke's UK marketing head in the summer of 2000, having served as the company's division marketing director for Asia Pacific. She introduced the 'think local, act local' strategy, devised by chief executive Douglas Daft, who took charge in 2000.

This resulted in a sweeping change in Coca-Cola's UK advertising arrangements, adding local hotshops such as Mother and Soul to Coke's more network-based roster, comprising McCann-Erickson and Wieden & Kennedy.

The strategy proved a success, with much-acclaimed advertising. Mother continues to work on Lilt, Dr Pepper and Schweppes, and has recently been appointed to handle UK advertising for original Coke. Soul handles Fanta.

Oades has also been a strong advocate of using diversified media -- including a growing proportion of digital marketing -- in contrast with the firm's previous focus on heavyweight TV advertising. Coca-Cola spent £40m on UK advertising in the year to November, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Coke recently announced it would no longer advertise to children under 12, and has circulated guidelines on marketing in schools.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.