CFO World

​News Corp confirms former Woolworths marketer as new CMO

The well-known marketing executive lands his new role after a swift departure from the supermarket giant

News Corp Australia’s managing director of metro and regional publishing Damian Eales announced the appointment of former Woolworths and Coles marketing executive Tony Phillips as the company’s new chief marketing officer.

Last year, Phillips announced his resignation from his position as Woolworths’ first CMO just one year into the role. The decision came weeks after Woolworths suffered a social media backlash for its Anzac Day campaign, which was subsequently withdrawn.

Turning over a new leaf, Phillips will soon report to News Corp’s managing director of metropolitan and regional newspapers and will be responsible for News Corp Australia’s national marketing initiatives. He will work on the development and launch of new products and brands and will also work closely with the company’s business units to drive audience and advertising revenues.

With over 18 years’ industry experience, Phillips began his career at Melbourne-based production company, JC Williamson Productions, run by iconic entertainment businessman, Kenn Brodziak, known for bringing the Beatles to Australia in 1964. Phillips started as an office boy before being made manager of the show, They Are Playing Our Song, in Sydney at age 21.

Phillips spent eight years with JC including six years as a tour manager, and managed Peter Allen’s 1980s Australian tour, before taking on various advertising and marketing roles at George Patterson, Grey Advertising, Clemenger Direct and AdTown.

Prior joining Woolworths in 2014, Phillips was the general manager of marketing and communications for Coles. He spent seven years at Coles overseeing key marketing and advertising campaigns while building a strong media strategy with MasterChef, My Kitchen Rules, and renegotiating the supermarket’s deal with the AFL and the Olympics.

“I’m delighted that Tony has agreed to join us. He has extensive experience at the highest levels both as a CMO and agency head," Eales said. “Tony joins us at an exciting time - total paid audience revenue is growing, digital subscription levels continue to increase strongly and we are connecting with our audiences in more innovative and engaging ways than ever before."

Phillips said he's always understood and valued the ROI that news media delivers and the emotional connection these outstanding brand properties have with their audiences.

"I’m thrilled to be joining the team at News," he said. “The reach and engagement that News’ brands have cannot be matched, so to be given the opportunity to work with them is a really exciting prospect. Damian has given me some insight into the great projects coming up, so I can’t wait to get started."

He is set to commence his new role with News Corp on 20 June.

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