Naked Communications partner Ivan Pollard quits for top Coke marketing job

Naked Commmunications partner Ivan Pollard has landed a top marketing job at long-time client Coca-Cola, helping to oversee the company’s efforts in ‘content, connections and integration.’

In essence this means that Pollard, 48, will be trying to steer Coke’s brands through a media landscape where stuff the company doesn’t pay for (like millions of mentions on YouTube and Facebook) is just as important as the exposure it does pay for. He will be working for Wendy Clark who joined from At&T two years ago to head the company’s ‘global integrated marketing communications and capabilities organisation.’

You can tell how difficult this sort of thing is for organisations like Coke by the length of the job descriptions.

Naked is the big success among the wave of clever media consultancies that sprung up in the UK around 2000. Founded that year, it outstripped the likes of Unity (one of Pollard’s old homes) and Michaelides & Bednash to establish a global network, including an office in New York, eventually selling to Australian marcoms group Photon in 2008 for £16.5m cash with the prospect of more to come.

Alas Photon ran out of cash earlier this year and had to renegotiate its earn-outs, replacing cash with not very valuable stock. The company’s founder Tim Hughes resigned in August.

Naked’s remaining founders are Will Collin and Jon Wilkins, both former colleagues of Pollard at BMP. But Pollard, described by Campaign as “the diminutive prince of planning,” was the organisation’s front man and will be missed. Here he is explaining what this clever media stuff is about:

His former colleagues at Naked, not to mention its cash-strapped owners at Photon, will be hoping that Coke still needs their services now that it’s nabbed Ivan.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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