Tony Phillips takes CMO spot at News Corp

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 6 June 2016
Tony Phillips

Former Coles and Woolies top marketer, Tony Phillips, has taken a full-time role as News Corp's CMO.

Following his sudden exit from Woolworths in May 2015, after little more than a year into the role as its CMO, Phillips had been advising UM on its retail clients on a contract basis. His new permanent spot will see him report to News Corp managing director of metropolitan and regional newspapers, Damian Eales, effective 20 June.

In his new role, Phillips will be responsible for News Corp Australia’s national marketing initiatives and will work on the development and launch of new products and brands.

Eales says Phillips joins News Corp at a time when the company is connecting with audiences in more innovative ways.

“I’ve always understood and valued the ROI that news media delivers and the emotional connection these outstanding brand properties have with their audiences, so I’m thrilled to be joining the team at News," Phillips says.

Phillips, who spent seven years at Coles, oversaw well-known advertising campaigns at Coles such as the 'Down down, prices are down'.

In February this year, Andrew Hicks was promoted into the CMO role at Woolworths after holding the position on an interim basis for six months following former Phillips' shock exit. Previously Hicks was general manager of marketing at Woolworths Liquor Group.

It remains to be seen if Phillips will make any moves to re-evaluate News Corp's media and creative agency relationships.

After the News Corp account was ripped from UM's stable (without a pitch) back in March last year and given to MediaCom, it later transpired that UM had the digital media buying part of the account – the bit many would argue is the most lucrative.

News of MediaCom swiping News Corp from UM came on the day that MediaCom went public with the results of its Ernst & Young audit, revealing that as well as the much publicised irregularities on Yum Brands, IAG and Foxtel, further inaccuracies had been identified on three client accounts. MediaCom admitted that on four occasions it had breached its own policy on value banks by on-selling bonus inventory to clients.

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