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Alison Lewis heads to J&J from Coke for global consumer marketing role


By Noel Young | Correspondent

October 25, 2013 | 3 min read

The next stop for Alison Lewis, Coca-Cola's head marketer in North America, is Johnson & Johnson, it has been revealed.

Alison Lewis : Digital and social media

She will be the first-ever global chief marketing officer of J&J’s consumer companies, reporting to Worldwide Chairman Lynn Pendergrass,also a recent hire.

Lewis finishes as VP-strategic marketing at Coca-Cola's North America Group at the end of this month. At Coke she has been overseeing more than $600 million in U.S. ad spending.

At J&J, she takes on a global role in which the consumer unit accounted for more than $750 million of the company's $887 million in measured media in the U.S. alone last year.

VP Global Corporate Affairs Michael Sneed and Worldwide VP Global Marketing Group Kim Kadlec continue overseeing corporate marketing efforts.

These include J&J's pharmaceutical and medical device businesses, which are much bigger than the consumer group but also spend far less on advertising, says AdAge.

Globally, J&J spent $2.3 billion in advertising across its divisions last year.

Lewis will oversee the four global franchises -- consumer health/nutritionals, beauty, baby care and over-the-counter drugs -- and a new marketing-services function for the group.

"Bringing these groups under a single leader enables us to build repeatable, end-to-end, global business models and innovation pipelines for our brands, focusing investment more effectively and efficiently," a J&J announcement says.

Three new female executives from outside have now joined J&J to oversee the consumer companies. Ms. Pendergrass, a former Hewlett-Packard executive, was named worldwide chairman of J&J's consumer segment in August.

She in turn reports to Sandra Peterson, group worldwide chairman, who came to J&J in December from Bayer.

"We're looking to catalyze our global growth strategy for our consumer business and the CMO role, and Alison in that role, will allow us to better anticipate our consumers' needs and look for solutions," said J&J spokeswoman Sandra Pound.

Lewis believes in bringing digital and social media into the mix.On her watch, Coke has had Super Bowl campaigns such as last year's Polar Bowl and this year's choose-your-own adventure ads.

"All marketers are dealing with the reality of digital marketing being an important part of their overall marketing mix," Lewis said. "It's obviously a significant time of change, with your smart phone or tablet starting to become that first screen."

She's been with Coca-Cola more than 18 years. J&J she said "has amazing iconic brands, a commitment to innovation and growth and openness to change."

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