Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands has appointed a new director of UK external affairs.

The unit, which is a UK distribution joint venture between the two drinks giants, said yesterday (20 November) that Bruce Ray will assume the position with immediate effect. Gary Squire, meanwhile, will move from director of on-trade sales for the BBFB portfolio to replace Ray as director of trade marketing.

In the new position, Ray will work across both the Bacardi-Martini and Brown-Forman businesses within the UK market, implementing and updating the external affairs policies for both companies.

He will also work with various trade bodies on issues such as the introduction of new government policies, implementing legal drinking age laws, smoking bans, taxation, and responsible marketing.

"In an industry as fast-paced as the licensed trade, staying on top of new and changing policies, as well as all of the topical issues relating to the drinks industry in the UK is a full time job," said Ray. "This exciting new role … will ensure that both the Bacardi-Martini and Brown-Forman portfolios are at the cutting edge of innumerable issues that directly impact upon the licensed trade, helping us to market effectively while providing high quality advice to licensees, retailers and on to purchasers and consumers."