Carlsberg restructures comms team in bid to boost corporate and lobbying power

Danish beer giant Carlsberg is shaking up its UK comms operation to place a greater emphasis on corporate PR and lobbying.

Changes: Carlsberg's sponsorship of Liverpool ended
Changes: Carlsberg's sponsorship of Liverpool ended

The restructure will see director of sponsorship and media relations Gareth Roberts leaving the business at the end of the year. He will make way for a yet-to-be-recruited UK head of corporate comms, corporate social responsibility and public affairs.

The new role will be the first time Carlsberg has employed a dedicated in-house corporate and public affairs chief in the UK. The company retains M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment for consumer PR.

It does not have a retained agency for corporate or public affairs, but has recently used Finsbury for a number of projects.

A new focus on public affairs reflects the increasing importance attached to issues around responsible drinking, including calls for minimum pricing of alcohol.

Carlsberg is currently designing the new role, but whoever is recruited will report to director of brand and strategy Darran Britton.

The company's key beer brands include Carlsberg, Tetley's and Tuborg.

The restructure means that Carlsberg will no longer have a senior PRO overseeing sponsorship, after the company's 17-year-long sponsorship of Liverpool FC finished at the end of last season.

Since July 2010, the club has been sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank.

Carlsberg's remaining sponsorship deals will be handled by the branding team on an ongoing basis.

Speaking to PRWeek, Roberts, who has been at the company for 22 years, said that he would look for 'a 100 per cent sponsorship role in the future rather than a split role with media'.

The comms restructure comes as beer volumes slip across the whole brewing sector.

CARLSBERG'S TEAM

Ben Morton Carlsberg Group's VP comms for Western Europe, based at head office in Denmark

Darran Britton UK director of brand and strategy. He joined in 2000 and is the most senior UK communicator

Gareth Roberts UK director of sponsorship and media relations

Adam Withrington UK comms manager. He joined in September 2009 from The Publican

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