Gareth Turner is the former Head of Marketing at Weetabix, where he oversaw the long-term brand strategy for the nation’s favourite cereal. He has over 23 years’ experience working within food and drink and has also had the pleasure of leading the marketing for household name brands like John Smith’s, Bulmers, Lurpak, and Arla in local and global roles.

Career highlights (so far) include buying a racehorse for John Smith’s, new product launches like Bulmers fruit ciders and the partnership between the FA senior men’s and women’s teams and Weetabix. In 2021 Gareth’s team unleashed the multi award winning “Beanz on Bix” on the world and broke the internet in the process.

Since leaving Weetabix, Gareth has worked with household name brand teams like Coop, Birdseye (Nomad Foods) and Kingsmill (Allied Bakeries) to mentor their marketing leaders. He has also worked with scale-up, challenger brands like Mighty Drinks and Spoon Cereals to bring structure to and improve their marketing, and is a Non-Executive Director for Route, a media agency based in Newcastle.

Gareth is a regular guest on podcasts both video and audio, and has spoken at numerous events including MAD//Fest, Prolific North and the Marketing Meetup as both a keynote speaker and panel guest. He is also a regular contributor to marketing titles including Marketing Week.

Today, Gareth will explain the intricacies of the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, including agency pitches, their emotional impact, and the importance of chemistry. We also explore the critical role procurement plays in securing new agencies. Later, we venture into maintaining agency relationships while highlighting the importance of broader business challenges and two-way conversations.

Topics covered during this episode include:

  • How Gareth navigated his career in the FMCG industry.
  • Experience with brands like Heineken, Arla Foods, and Weetabix.
  • Why a realistic brief is important in agency pitches, and the emotional impact it has on agencies and clients.
  • How LinkedIn can be used to gather valuable information about clients.
  • The significance of understanding various business pressures.
  • Securing new agencies while making the process robust and defensible.
  • Why reaching a mutual understanding and having two-way conversations maintain agency relationships.
  • How to utilize different resources to aid clients.
  • Considering the broader challenges that may be affecting the business.
  • The story behind the controversial Beanz on Bix tweet and the public reaction to it.
  • Why agency pitches can be draining for both agencies and clients, and how to avoid this.
  • How Gareth managed to save money without having to run a pitch, and the strategies he used.
  • Getting the best deal from a supplier, within reason.
  • Researching clients on LinkedIn and understanding their backgrounds for better agency pitches.
  • How Gareth made a strategic investment in hiring the right people to influence the success of his project.
  • Why chemistry is an essential ingredient in building successful client relationships in the FMCG industry.

Gareth Turner on LinkedIn:


Big Black Door: