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New Marketing chief looks to return Ladbrokes to top

16 February 2016

LADBROKES ’ new chief marketing officer Kristof Fahy is aiming to help get them back to number one following his return to the betting industry. 

Fahy started in his new role last month following a short spell at the Telegraph Media Group,where he spent just six months,having been chief marketing officer at William Hill for the previous five years. 

He said: “One of the things that was always interesting being at Hills was that you were always looking at the Ladbrokes brand.It was and is very strong and the opportunity here is to get us back to number one. 

“We’re the oldest brand in the business. I think it’s been an interesting two or three-year period and i t’s n ow our opportunity to get Ladbrokes back and motoring again.” 

Fahy has teamed up again with his former colleague at Hills – Ladbrokes’ chief executive Jim Mullen – and said he welcomed the chance to return to the industry. 

“I missed it,” he said. “I obviously saw what was going on in the industry, the consolidation and the opportunities and challenges that brings, and I missed the constant pace this industry has to offer so I was drawn back in.” 

From his days at Hills Fahy said he had identified areas where Ladbrokes had not got things right in the past. 

He said: “We've got to get everything across our business lined up and facing in the same direction. Certainly when I was on the blue side you could see Ladbrokes was maybe not making some of the best marketing decisions ever made. 

“I think the opportunity is to take the talent and the calibre of people here, point them in one or two directions and then go and win.” 

Fahy has also joined a business that is going though the throes of a merger with Gala Coral and he will become CMO of the enlarged group. However, that is not at the forefront of his mind. 

“We've got to get the Ladbrokes brand up and running again, get the momentum back in this business and build on the great work Jim has put in place. That’s task number one,” he said. 

Bookmakers’ advertising has been the subject of criticism but Fahy believes the industry –through initiatives like the Senet Group – takes t he subject seriously. 

“We always have to be aware there will potentially be hurdles put in our path,” he said. “If you look at the regulation already around bookmakers, we’re one of the most heavily regulated businesses I've ever worked in. 

“We obviously have to behave well as an industry and take our responsibilities incredibly seriously.” 

Fahy has also returned to the industry during a time of increased strain in relations with racing due to the authorised betting partner policy. 

“Racing is an inherently important part of what we do,”he said. “I want to work closely with racing, but as I said the other day I feel like we’re about to get locked out of our favourite pub. 

“If we can’t get to a point where we can move forward then obviously my job is to look at where we can put our marketing pounds to the best effect. 

“But the premise is we want to be part of racing.”

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