Carat chief strategy officer takes Disney CMO role

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 2 June 2015

Carat’s chief strategy officer for Australia and New Zealand, Gavin Ashcroft, is set to become The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand chief marketing officer.

As revealed back in February by AdNews, the hunt for a chief marketing officer was on after its then CMO, Kylie Watson-Wheeler, moved into a new role within the company.

He will join the company August 3 and will be based in Melbourne. As CMO, Ashcroft will focus on integrated marketing and franchise planning, media strategy, partnerships and social media. 

Prior to his chief strategy officer role at the Dentsu Aegis agency, he was general manager and group business director of Carat Melbourne. He also spent six years working with Carat in the UK. 

MD at The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand, Catherine Powell, said she was thrilled to have Ashcroft lead its marketing team as it looks to drive “integrated partnerships and create leading engagement experiences” with fans across multiple platforms.

“Disney’s marketing business is at the core of everything we do,” Powell said. “ It helps nurture and grow the powerful connection between our stories and franchises and our consumers.”

CEO Carat Australia/New Zealand, Simon Ryan, said Ashcroft had been a “solid” member of the Carat team for more than a decade.

“Disney is a long and trusted partner of Carat’s and it is a fantastic opportunity for Gavin to join the Disney team, follow his passion and he does so with our best wishes,” Ryan said.

After a media agency review earlier this year Disney confirmed in April that its media account would stay on with Carat in Australia. Disney also awarded the business in New Zealand to Carat.

The multinational mass media and entertainment giant confirmed the account was up for pitch back in February, hot on the heels of its first brand campaign in a decade. The account was thought to be worth $26 million.

The Walt Disney Company unveiled its first major brand campaign in Australia for more than a decade, hoping to remind viewers that Disney can make life a little more magical. The free-to-air TV ad campaign complemented subscription TV exposure as well as in-cinema, social, and online media placements.

Disney said the fact the campaign was locally created rather than being a re-cut of a US Disney campaign meant it would resonate with Australians.

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