UKTV has hired former Procter & Gamble marketing exec Gareth Barker as their Head of Entertainment Marketing.
The newly created role will see Gareth Barker assume responsibility for all branding and marketing activity for Dave, Watch and Gold – including all digital and social media activity across the channels’ platforms. He took up post last month and reports into Steve North, General Manager of UKTV’s Entertainment Channels.
“I’m delighted to have joined UKTV at such an exciting time for the business. This is a fantastic opportunity to work on a portfolio of genre-defining channels. UKTV is industry-leading in its approach to channel branding”, said Barker. “I’m extremely excited to get stuck in.”
Gareth Barker’s appointment comes at an interesting time for UKTV. The company recently celebrated their fourth consecutive year of ratings growth and they are investing more in content than ever before, with an originals budget of £125 million. UKTV’s top brass is keen to continue that momentum, with Barker’s role designed to further build on the recent ratings growth.
To drive that growth into 2015, UKTV has a number of exclusive programmes in the pipeline for the three channels – all of which will require strong pushes on the marketing front. Said programmes include the second season of You, Me & Them, and a further 5 original comedy series on Gold; and World’s Most Talented and acquisitions Grimm, Crisis and The Strain on Watch. While Dave’s line up includes the latest season of US import Suits, two new runs of Storage Hunters UK and Undercover, the channel’s (long-gestating) first original sitcom starring Daniel Rigby.
“UKTV has just delivered its fourth consecutive year of record growth. Maintaining that trajectory requires us to constantly challenge the status quo and embrace new thinking”, said Simon Michaelides, UKTV’s Marketing Director. “Looking outside of the TV industry for high calibre marketers such as Gareth enables us to inject a rich set of incremental skills and experience which complement our existing strengths.
“Gareth is a fantastic addition to the team. His background in commercial, consumer and brand marketing, combined with his ability to take an analytical and insight-based approach, perfectly compliment the already exceptional content marketing skills in the department. We are delighted to welcome him, and look forward to his contribution to the next chapter of UKTV’s growth.”