Coke axes global advertising chief

Coca-Cola global advertising head Ian Rowden is believed to have been axed from his post as vice-president, consumer communications.

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

alleged racism.

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.


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