Nick Bishop, 38, becomes Coca-Cola's VP-consumer connections, from exec VP-managing director of Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson/A&L, San Francisco.
On Oct. 1, Mr. Bishop will report to Steve Jones, chief marketing officer in the company's corporate marketing division in Atlanta.
He succeeds Martin Quinn, who had led the consumer communications function since the surprise departure in April of VP-Consumer Communications Ian Rowden. Mr. Quinn now is director of global brand communications and reports to Mr. Bishop.
In July 1985, Mr. Bishop moved to McCann's Sydney office to run Coca-Cola's media business in Australia, and thereafter trotted the globe in a variety of roles for McCann leading the account.
In 1999, he switched shops, becoming president of Anderson & Lembke to handle the Microsoft Corp. account before A&L merged with McCann. The A&L name is now being phased out.
A MORE STRATEGIC POST
Of his new position, Mr. Bishop said it is more strategic and advisory than the advertising function had been in the past, adding his title embodies the shift in the advertising function under CEO Doug Daft's "think local, act local" credo.
"We really recognize the fact that we're moving from being a brand-centric to a human-centric organization," he said. "Building relationships over time is critical."
Doing so also will require a more integrated approach. Mr. Bishop will concentrate on development of an overall creative strategy to enable that connection with consumers while advising local marketing teams in creating strategies and integrated marketing communications.
"We need to better understand how we can make our brand and our communication more relevant to help [consumers] have a better time, have more fun and enjoy [themselves]," he said. "We know likability is an important driver in brand preference." How the company becomes more likable will depend, he said. But the bottom line is to help consumers associate Coca-Cola with a good time.
LOCAL UNIT RESPONSIBILITY
Each of Coca-Cola's 26 local divisions will be responsible for developing its own ads and integrated marketing programs, including agency selection. But Mr. Bishop's group will develop creative for select seasonal promotions and influence overall agency relationships.
"With 20 years of agency experience, I have a strong understanding of their business and how to jointly get the best [work] out of an agency," he said. "I want to be one of those great clients that is fair, hones clear direction and enables the agency to do their best work."
Mr. Bishop said it was premature to speculate what, if any, changes would be made to the current agency roster or whether his former agency would be given special consideration.
"They know that if they do great work for the Coca-Cola Co., they will be rewarded like every other agency on the roster," he said.