Coca-Cola global advertising head Ian Rowden is believed to have
been axed from his post as vice-president, consumer communications.
Rowden, who was responsible for the current global ’Coca-Cola - Enjoy’
campaign, left the company suddenly last week, leading to speculation
that he has been ousted.
His role as head of global advertising is thought to have been lost as
part of Coca-Cola’s shift from a centralised marketing approach to a
focus on local marketing - a part of chief executive Douglas Daft’s
’think global, act local’ philosophy.
Last month, the company disbanded its in-house ad department, Edge
Creative, which handled creative for Coke Classic. This task is thought
to have been handed to New York-based agency Cliff Freeman &
Rowden was believed to have been in line for the role of advertising
head for North America, a post of equivalent seniority to global
advertising head. But agency sources in Europe have since stated that
Rowden is no longer with the company.
A spokesman at Coca-Cola was unclear on the situation, refusing to say
that Rowden had been axed from his post.
The soft drinks giant has struggled to come to grips with a turbulent 12
months which have included a scandal over contaminated cans in France
and Belgium, and its Atlanta headquarters being served with a writ for
Daft recently wrote in the Financial Times: ’We were operating as a
slow, insulated, sometimes insensitive, ’global’ company in an era when
nimbleness, transparency and local sensitivity have become essential to
Rowden worked for Coca-Cola from 1980 to 1990 as a marketer in
Australia, and from 1992 as a senior marketer, based at Coke’s
headquarters in Atlanta.