Supermarket executive takes up News marketing post

Tony Phillips, a former marketing executive of the two major supermarket retailers in Australia – Coles and Woolworths – has been appointed chief marketing officer of News Corp Australia.

Tony Phillips

Tony Phillips

Mr Phillips, who starts in his new role on June 20, will report to News Corp Australia’s managing director – metro and regional publishing Damian Eales.

He joins News with more than 18 years’ experience in media and marketing, including as managing director of George Patterson Bates Melbourne, general manager marketing communications for Coles and most recently as chief marketing officer of Woolworths.

In his new role, Mr Phillips will be responsible for News Corp Australia’s national marketing initiatives, and will work on the development and launch of new products and brands. He will also work closely with the company’s business units to drive audience and advertising revenues.

Mr Phillips said he had always understood and valued the return on investment that news media delivered and the emotional connection these brand properties had with their audiences.

“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 said.

Mr Phillips began his career as theatrical and entertainment tour and company manager for JC Williamson Productions. In 1988, he moved to Grey Advertising as an account director, a role he held for five years before joining Clemenger Direct as general manager.

In 1995, Mr Phillips joined The George Patterson Group, where he established the new agency brand AdTown before being promoted to the role of managing director of parent agency George Patterson Melbourne.

In 2007, he moved client-side, taking up the role of general manager of marketing communication at Coles, then going on to become general manager category marketing, events and sponsorships. In 2014, he was appointed chief marketing officer at Woolworths and has most recently been consulting to the retail industry.

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