Coke marketing boss to depart

By By Wenlei Ma | 7 March 2013

Coca-Cola South Pacific marketing director Lucie Austin, who spearheaded the successful 'Share a Coke' campaign, will be leaving the Australian office.

Austin is going to another role within the company, heading up marketing in Europe. A permanent replacement for Austin has not been announced. Head of operational marketing Jasmin Vinculado will take over the position in an acting capacity.

Austin looked after more than 15 brands and a team of 50 staff under her portfolio. She has previously worked for Arnott's, Boots Healthcare (now Reckitt Benckiser) and Unilever.

Austin said: “I have had a fantastic five years at the helm of one of Australia’s strongest and most creative marketing teams. I’m proud of the work that the team and our agencies have delivered during my tenure, and humbled by the recognition that many of our campaigns have achieved.

"I’m leaving Australia but not leaving Coca-Cola, I’m excited to be heading for a new role back in Europe, based in London. I’m sad to be leaving Sydney and many wonderful colleagues. I’m handing over the reins temporarily to our Head of Operational Marketing, Jasmin Vinculado, while my replacement is found.

"We have benefitted from Jasmin’s authentic leadership, strategic thinking and sharp wit for the past two years as my deputy in the team and she is more than qualified to steer the team through a short transition period. One of my last tasks before heading off will be to help find my replacement.”

The summer 2011/12 'Share a Coke' campaign has been lauded for being a truly socially integrated piece of work. In a feature interview with AdNews last year, Austin said the campaign increased the brand's Facebook traffic by 870% during the promotional period.

In addition to 'Share a Coke', her tenure has also seen the elevation of the Coke Zero brand as a priority for the company. Earlier this year, Coca-Cola said it planned to spend 70% more on marketing Coke Zero than Coke Red.

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