This opportunity has now been filled

Marketing Director – Barr Soft Drinks

About the role

Location: UK based with regular travel to Cumbernauld and Middlebrook and other UK locations


The Company:

In 1875 Robert Barr started producing and selling aerated waters, as soft drinks were then called. From those early days in a small factory in Falkirk, AG Barr has grown into one of the UK’s best loved soft drinks companies – with a brand that is famous the world over.

AG Barr own a number of well-known soft drinks and some fantastic brands – most famously IRN-BRU but also Rubicon – the fastest growing major soft drinks brand of the past 2 years. This exciting portfolio also includes Strathmore Spring Water, KA, Tizer, D&B, St. Clements, the Simply range and the Barr brand itself.

As well as organic growth. AG Barr has been highly acquisitive with the acquisitions of Rubicon Soft Drinks during 2008, Strathmore in 2006. Funkin Cocktails in 2015 and most recently Moma Foods and Boost Drinks in 2022. AG Barr also manages under licence the Bundaberg and Snapple brands. Their drinks are manufactured in three locations – Cumbernauld nr Glasgow (HQ), Milton Keynes and Forfar  – the home of Strathmore Spring Water.

A.G.Barr plc has a consistent track record in delivering strong market performance. In the In year ending January 2022, sales revenues were £268.6m with an operating profit of £41.5m (+9% vs previous year) and in their most recent financial year there was net revenue growth of a further +17% to circa £315m, which we of course think is ‘phenomenal’!

Building on this growth the further ambition on their two core brands IRN-BRU and Rubicon is to continue their development into two major, truly national brands. They are both well invested, with communications that are known for being high in cut through, being different and being brave. Effectiveness however is at the route of everything. On IRN-BRU they have run successful campaigns including ‘Snowman’, which was voted Scotland’s favourite ever TV advert, the ‘IRN-BRU Gets You Through TV’ campaign and latest cross platform campaign, ‘Tastes Phenomenal’. A new communications platform and campaign were developed for Rubicon in Summer 2022, ‘Made of Different Stuff’.

It is this brand building, marketing and communications strategy and opportunity to play such a significant part in these iconic adverts, social media and brand marketing activity that is the at the foundation of this crucial Marketing Director appointment.

The Opportunity:

Barr Soft Drinks makes up 80% of the plc and as a result this is the number one Marketing role in the company, sitting on the Barr Soft Drinks Executive Committee and reporting to the Commercial Director.

It is an extremely rare opportunity to lead the growth of the Barr soft drinks brands and a portfolio of incredible customer focussed and highly marketable soft drinks. The Marketing Director will lead the development of both existing and new brand propositions, and lead the ideas factory when it comes to all thinks marketing and brand. You will be the consumer champion and conscience – keeping the team externally focussed on building both broader and stronger consumer/brand relationships – thereby growing brand value and market share.

You will lead a team of 12 marketing professionals across three teams as well as the Head of R&D and their team of 21. The addition of R&D allows ensures your ability to drive brand creation, building and growth as well as your ability to influence and put the consumer at the heart of everything that you do. These marketing teams work in a unique 360 fashion, managing all aspects of brand equity, strategy development, innovation, digital and brand planning and you will be accountable for the exceptional performance of all of this.

As part of the Barr Soft Drinks Executive Committee you will jointly develop overall business plans and strategies in line with the broader objectives and work closely with the Commercial Director and the wider Commercial Leadership team.

The successful candidate:

The Marketing Director will bring a creative and entrepreneurial style, as well as diversity of thought, to a long term established team. We’re seeking a data driven, highly skilled marketeer and consumer centric leader. This is a key role that will help shape the future of the business and will involve embracing and harnessing new technology and all of the digital platforms on a daily basis as the brands continue to develop, adapt and stay current with consumer trends and behaviours. You will have a continually digitally curious and agile mindset and be driven by killer consumer insight.

You will have experience of leading broad marketing and innovation teams to enhance current and new brand portfolios and will understand that ‘taste’ is crucial to everything we do. Around this core foundation of taste is built the brand, which combines short and long term equity building with the crucial role of packaging in this highly competitive category. As a result, innovation must never stop in this role and you will have demonstrable experience of using insight to drive decisions.

Essential skills and experience:

  • Proven experience in a senior Marketing leadership position – most likely (but not exclusively) as a Marketing Director within an FMCG, Consumer Services or otherwise consumer brand centric environment
  • Excellent leadership and organisation skills, with a highly personable and energetic flair in their approach to managing and inspiring a team
  • The ability to think both analytically and abstractly i.e. rational and creative thought
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Curiosity and adaptability – the landscape for consumers and brands is always evolving and requires the curiosity to understand the changes and adapt to them
  • Digital and data expertise – the communications world is developing fast through both digital technology and how 1st/2nd/3rd party data can be utilised to maximise effectiveness of investment. This individual will have experience and passion to continue to drive this change in the business.

To apply, please send your CV to Jaclyn Needham and Michael Dickson at FWB Park Brown at  For an initial confidential conversation please contact 0131 539 7087.