Formula One looks for marketing director – but is it already in Bernie’s bag?

Formula One is looking to appoint its first marketing director following pressure from the F100 Alliance which represents the brands who pour £458m into the sport.

On the face of it this looks about the best marketing job in the world – oodles of budget, first class travel, pit lane honeys and all the rest of it. But there are fears in the industry that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who still runs the sport as if he owns it although he doesn’t, has already made his choice from the ranks of Bernie cronies.

Marketing to date, such as it’s been, has been by Bernie and his oppo Paddy McNally and his Allsport company, one-time employee of the Duchess of York in her Sarah Ferguson days. Maybe Fergie’s after the job? That will appeal to them in Stuttgart.

Brand Republic suggests former Vodafone marketing director David Wheldon for the job. Wheldon has a long association with the sport through Vodafone’s involvement although we don’t know if he qualifies as a Bernie crony.

So like all good things this one may prove to be not quite as good as it seems on the surface. By the time the lucky candidate has dealt with the politics and in-fighting he or she will probably be too knackered to look at any ads.

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