Ed Pilkington nabs top Diageo European marketing role as Guinness reviews African ad account

Ed Pilkington, Diageo’s top global marketer for white spirits, has been appointed to head up the Western European marketing function for the drinks giant.

Ed Pilkington: promotion at Diageo
Ed Pilkington: promotion at Diageo

Pilkington was handed the Western Europe marketing and innovation director role last week. He replaces Matt Barwell who left the company after 15-years without a job to go to.

It is understood that Pilkington will continue to cover his previous position – global category director, vodka, gin and rums – in order to complete the review of the global Smirnoff account which is currently out to pitch.

Pilkington, a Diageo veteran, has held various marketing roles at the company since joining in 1995, including Latin America and Caribbean marketing and innovation director and the same position for Diageo's Australian operation.

Prior to joining Diageo, Pilkington worked for L’Oreal.

Meanwhile, Diageo is understood to have kicked off a review for the Guinness ad account in its Africa region. The process is being led by Philip Gladman, the marketing and innovation director for Africa, who took up the position at the beginning of the year after heading up Diageo’s white spirits marketing for Western Europe.

A longlist of agencies vying for the business is believed to include incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi Cape Town, CHI & Partners and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO as well as a number of local African shops.