Guinness' European marketing chief quits

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LONDON -- Guinness Brewing Worldwide's European marketing chief is to move to U.K. drinks company Matthew Clark plc as its first main board Marketing Director.

Rob MacNevin, appointed to the marketing and business development director (Europe) role at Guinness at the end of 1995, will join his new employer at the end of April charged with the task of implementing a shake-up of marketing and new product development.

Matthew Clark, whose product portfolio includes the Taunton, Gaymer, Blackthorn and Diamond White cider brands, along with Stone's Ginger Wine, Strathmore Spring Water and Stowells of Chelsea boxed wines, has suffered a slide in sales and share price over the past year. Some of that is attributed to the success of alcoholic pop drinks - alcopops - which have bitten deep into the cider market.

At the announcement of interim results in January, the company promised a renewed vigor in its marketing, backed by an ad spend for the year of between $13m and $16m, representing a near five-fold increase.

"High on my list for the future will be new product development," says MacNevin, who points to the opportunities in his new job to "build on established brands and release the potential in new ones.".

Mike Ader, who last year moved to become marketing director of the Matthew Clark Wholesale division from the same position at Matthew Clark Taunton (to be renamed Matthew Clark Brands), will now report to MacNevin. His previous post will not now be filled.

MacNevin has been with Guinness for 10 years, which included a four year stint as marketing director of Guinness Brewing Great Britain.

Copyright February 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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