Andy Lark moves to Foxtel as CMO

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 22 January 2018

Former CommBank marketer Andy Lark has taken on the top chief marketing officer role at Australian pay television company Foxtel. The news was first reported in The Australian.

Lark, who helped spearhead CommBank’s digital transformation and its ‘Can’ campaign, arrives in the wake of Foxtel senior marketer Mark Buckman's departure in September last year, and the departure of Foxtel marketing director Rob Farmer, who left in November.

Buckman was managing director of customer and retail at Foxtel, and his remit included brand, sales, retail, business, customer service/experience, customer installations and supply chain, strategy, research and analytics, product management, digital and marketing.

On his departure the sections were split into a number of divisions. A customer sales and service division was created and former sales and customer experience director Marco Miranda was promoted to executive director of sales and customer.

Lark is taking on the marketing, digital and product management division, while strategy and research were centralised under the CFO.

In June Foxtel overhauled its corporate identity and revamped its SVOD platform, Foxtel Now, to take on Netflix and Stan for individual consumers on a budget.

Buckman played a pivotal role in Foxtel's recent rebrand and left only 18 months into the role. At the time of the rebrand Buckman said Foxtel's new corporate identity was designed to be less masculine and more accessible to viewers.

Lark, who joins as News Corp and Telstra move forward with plans to combine Foxtel and Fox Sports into a single entity, will no doubt be tasked with pushing the network's new video-on-demand offering throughout 2018.

Foxtel was deemed late in its brand transformation and revamped service for users, given the likes of Netflix, Stan, and even Hayu, had been in market snapping up members with their on-demand offerings for some time.

According to a Roy Morgan survey last year, more than one in three Australians now have Netflix as subscriptions jumped 20% in first quarter of 2017.  In 2017 Netflix also said it would spend more than US$1 billion on marketing, including an increase in programmatic advertising activity to drive member acquisition.

Lark, who was chief marketing and business officer as cloud-based accounting software company Xero and spent 14 years in marketing at Dell, is known for his outspoken views. Speaking at Ashton Media’s Marketing Tech Symposium on ‘The end of automation, Lark said “The tech adoption lifecycle is bollocks and most marketing is a trainwreck.” 

It's not the first time Lark has joined an organisation that Buckman has recently exited, with Lark arriving at CommBank in 2011 after Buckman left for a role at Telstra.

Since exiting Foxtel last year, Buckman has been focussed on his own consulting business, Barangaroo Consulting Group, which is a mix of board advisory, private clients, philanthropy and investments.

Foxtel launched a campaign (below) to support the relaunch and revamp of its on demand service. The ad's 30 and 60-second spots, from TBWA Sydney, feature people speaking in unison as they sing the praises of an unnamed TV show.

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