The Reception


Must see


Q&A with Gareth Brown, UK Marketing Director, Edrington-Beam Suntory UK

Tell me about yourself! How did you end up taking a job running the UK Marketing Department for Edrington-Beam Suntory UK? OK, to set the scene, I’m a Welshman, with an English accent, living in Glasgow…probably says it all? Career wise, I’ve been in the drinks industry for 20 years, starting life as a Graduate at Allied Domecq and moving through into Beam Global, which then became Beam Suntory. My career has been predominantly marketing focused starting as a brand manager on Harveys Sherry & Cockburn’s Port, progressing into the role as Global Director of Scotch, but I’ve also spent time in commercial roles, including running Duty-Free and Middle East & Africa. I joined the then Maxxium UK as Marketing Director in June 2016, which was renamed Edrington-Beam Suntory UK in 2018. What have been the highlights of your career so far?

Life’s a Reach

If there is one thing you can be sure of in the modern media it is that change is coming. Our publishing platforms have changed, our audience has changed, our competition has changed and as a result, we have had to change. Over and over and over again. It’s the key issue that we grapple every day. How to reach and build a younger digital audience, while continuing to serve the needs of a loyal, ageing print readership. Our company recently rebranded itself as Reach PLC to reflect what we do as a business. We reach people, whether it is on our own websites and apps, through social media platforms, news aggregators, podcast platforms or wherever else people find and use our content. There are so many new places to consume our journalism, but there are also so many more alternatives competing for people’s attention. The Scottish newspaper market has always been one of the most competitive in the world and we now have an added - and government-funded - competitor in the BBC which is no longer just the state broadcaster but the state digital publisher as well.

Q&A with Jo Grant

What does it mean to Edrington to be the Marketing Society’s Employer Brand of the Year?  In a “war” for talent it’s never been more important to articulate your employer proposition to potential employees, differentiating yourself in the marketplace and articulating your offering to people who have more choice in who they work for than ever before. We believe that we’ve got a unique offering and that regardless of people’s areas area of expertise, or what motivates them in their career, Edrington has something for everyone. Whether it’s an international career, working with our leading brands or working for a company who genuinely makes a difference we believe we have a culture and value proposition that pulls people in.  Winning the Marketing Society’s Employer Brand is fantastic recognition of this and a huge accolade for Edrington.  Tell us about your company cultures and values? The DNA of Edrington has 4 component parts Great People

Q&A with Clare Willis

Clare has been in the Marketing team at the National Trust for Scotland for the past 12 years where she has led a number of themed campaigns to encourage visits and membership.  What are the biggest challenges you face in your role as Marketing Manager for the National Trust for Scotland? I would say that it’s the diversity of our portfolio – we care for over 100 special places throughout Scotland including Glencoe, Culloden, the Hill House and the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. Not only do our marketing campaigns have to promote these places to visitors and members who are looking for a great day out, but they also need to communicate that we are a conservation charity and protecting our heritage for future generations is at the heart of everything we do.  Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry?

Q&A with Thomas Barta

He conducted the world’s largest study, involving over 68,000 assessments, on what makes an impactful customer leader and has written the #1 marketing leadership book The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader. If you could give your 16-year-old self one piece of career advice, what would it be? You are not a marketer – you are a change leader. The moment you try and get someone you do something, you do marketing. That’s a powerful role. Don’t become a campaign expert or digital nerd (they’ll be out of the job by 2025 – machines can do that). Learn the most powerful marketing skills: making change happen. How do you think the quality of UK's Marketing Industry compares globally? If you want a great machine, you go to Germany. If you want great food, you go to Italy. If you want great communication, the UK is your place. The UK is a marketing powerhouse. If UK marketers don’t fall into the digital nerd trap, it’s gonna stay like this.

Upcoming Events


A whisky evening with Edrington-Beam Suntory UK

with Carat on Credibility in the digital age.

Editor's choice

Accepting neurodiversity requires great generosity

'Perhaps you are sitting at your desk with a strong cup of tea, you’ve finally found 5 minutes for yourself. A moment to reflect and think about the office environment and the team’s neurological differences,' writes Tribal Worldwide's Jade Tomlin.


Use direct response copywriting to start selling more stuff, now

Having just read a book on how to improve your persuasive copywriting skills, I’m now supposed to write an entertaining, informative review that will have all you Marketing Society members clicking through to read it. No pressure then? Giles Lury reviews Glenn Fisher's new book.

Book club

Convenience v security: why no one should have to put their keys in the freezer!

'Are we jeopardising our personal security just to make our lives more convenient? I recently had my car stolen by someone who was seemingly able to hack their way into it.' A cautionary tale from Your Favourite Story's Rachel Faber.