Whitbread Beer Company has pulled its controversial nativity scene
poster for Heineken following complaints from the Church and members of
At the same time, the marketer responsible for the advertising, Phil
Rumbol, has been appointed to a new role within the company, handling
sponsorship and PR.
A company spokeswoman said the two events were unrelated, and that
Rumbol’s move was announced internally a month ago.
The ad, which features a twist on the nativity scene with Joseph
proclaiming ’It’s a girl’, outraged churchgoers and prompted Whitbread
to commission new research. This showed that 10% of people were offended
by the ad, with 70% understanding why others would be offended.
Whitbread has apologised and is withdrawing the ad.
Rumbol, previously marketing manager for Heineken, takes on the role of
director of brand communications. He will be responsible for new
initiatives which fall outside traditional advertising.
Rumbol’s replacement is Rachel Johnson, currently marketing controller
for Horlicks at SmithKline Beecham.
The changes complete a restructure of Whitbread’s marketing
Last month it appointed Stewart Gilliland as its new marketing and sales
Gilliland replaced John Derkach who became managing director of
In October, Tracey Darwen, marketing controller for Stella Artois left
Whitbread and was replaced by Boddingtons’ marketing manager, Stuart
McFarlane. McFarlane was in turn replaced by Kathryn McNamara.