Carat strategy chief Gavin Ashcroft switches to client side to take CMO role at Disney

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 10.51.53 AMDisney has poached its media agency Carat’s chief strategy officer Gavin Ashcroft to become its new chief marketing officer, Mumbrella can reveal.

Ashcroft replaces Kylie Watson-Wheeler who left the role at the entertainment giant earlier this year to become general manager of licensing and retail. He will start on August 3 and be based in Melbourne.

The switch from agency to client side for Ashcroft comes after Carat held on to Disney’s $26m media account following a multi-stage pitch process initially involving up to eight media agencies.

The short list included Ikon, PHD and Starcom which eventually became a straight fight between Carat and PHD.

Disney said Ashcroft will focus on integrated marketing and franchise planning, media strategy, partnerships and social media.

Prior to his role as chief strategy officer, Ashcroft was general manager and group business director of Carat Melbourne. He also had a six year stint with Carat in the UK.

“Disney’s marketing business is at the core of everything we do: it helps nurture and grow the powerful connection between our stories and franchises and our consumers,” Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand managing director Catherine Powell said. “I am thrilled to have Gavin lead our marketing team as we look to drive integrated partnerships and create leading engagement experiences with fans across multiple platforms.”

Carat Australia and NZ chief executive Simon Ryan described Ashcroft as a “great person” who has been a “solid member of the Carat team for over 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,” he added.

Steve Jones


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