News Corp appoint former Woolworths and Coles marketer Tony Phillips as CMO

News Corp Australia has appointed former Woolworths chief marketer Tony Phillips as its new chief marketing officer.

Phillips, who departed Woolworths suddenly in May last year, will report to News Corp managing director of metropolitan and regional newspapers Damian Eales.

Ex-Woolies CMO Tony Phillips appointed CMO at News Corp Australia

Ex-Woolies CMO Tony Phillips appointed CMO at News Corp Australia

During his tenure at Woolworths, Phillips oversaw the much condemned marketing campaign which linked the brand to Anzac war heroes, and was also behind the ‘Cheap Cheap’ campaign which many saw as aping Coles’ ‘Down Down’ proposition.

Prior to Woolworths, Phillips was the general manager of marketing and communications for Coles. Most recently Phillips was working with media agency UM as a consultant ahead of the Coles media pitch.

At News Corp, Phillips will be responsible for News Corp Australia’s national marketing initiatives and will work closely with the company’s business units to drive circulation and digital subscription revenue.

He replaces Damian Eales in the CMO role, who was promoted to be managing director of metro and regional publishing last year.

Eales said in a statement: “I’m delighted that Tony has agreed to join us. He has extensive experience at the highest levels both as a CMO and agency head, and I know will lead our teams.

“Tony joins us at an exciting time – consumer revenue is growing, digital subscription levels continue to increase strongly and we are connecting with our customers in more innovative and engaging ways than ever before.”

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

“The reach and engagement that News’ brands have cannot be matched, so to be given the opportunity to work with them is a really exciting prospect. Damian has given me some insight into the great projects coming up, so I can’t wait to get started.”

His appointment could see an agency roster shakeup – with News Corp’s roster of agencies including Archibald Williams, Mediacom and UM watching the move carefully.

However speaking to The Australian, Phillips denied the suggestion that his first move would be to call a pitch.

“No. You have to get in there and have a look at everything. There’s no point of change for change’s sake,” he said.

Phillips starts in his new role on June 20.


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