This just in via Marketing Magazine:

Drinks giant Diageo has appointed Leila Fataar to the newly created role of head of culture and entertainment at Diageo Europe as it looks to align its premium brands with music, film, fashion, food, drink, sport, art and design culture.

Why now, you may wonder?

The company said the appointment was to ensure its brands remained culturally relevant.

“As marketers, we are very lucky at Diageo to have an incredible range of brands to work with that play an authentic part in culture. Leila will be leading a team to ensure we are capitalising on this, shaping how our brands show up and ensuring that we are and remain culturally relevant,” said Ed Pilkington, marketing and innovation director at Diageo Europe.

I’ll be interested to see how this move on Diageo’s part nets out.  Given her PR background, I’m guessing that much of the impetus behind the creation of this role is to help Diageo’s brands on the earned media front.  Push them out of category and keep them in the cultural conversations that are happening all around them.

Of course, I’m curious about how this role will work.  For example, some immediate questions I have are:

  • Where exactly does she sit in the organization?  Based on this article, it seems she reports to Diageo’s CMO for Western Europe, so that would suggest high level support for her role.
  • How big a budget will she be given?
  • How will her efforts integrate with Diageo’s overall marketing?
  • Is there/will there be a US counterpart?

This is a smart move on Diageo’s part–so much of the spirits business is about lifestyle and aspirational moments–and one to keep an eye on for results that will come from it.  In the meantime, I’m wishing Ms. Fataar well.

Watch this space.

 

Posted by Rob Fields