- Ferrari 2004 to 2009 – Commercial and Brand Director, Ferrari GB
- SMMT 1997 to 2004 – Head of Communications, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd
- BBC & Commercial Radio 1988 to 1997 – Journalist and Presenter
2004 to 2009 – Commercial and Brand Director, Ferrari GB
As Commercial and Brand Director, Al Clarke was responsible for all sales and marketing activities within Ferrari GB driving growth through the provision and sale of products and services.
Initially brought on board in 2004 as Communications Director he was tasked with helping to manage media relations during a complex and highly sensitive transition process.
Achievements following the successful completion of this project included re-positioning and developing the Ferrari brand in the UK. The aim of which was to introduce a real sense of individuality and emphasise the unique quality of the product at all points of client contact.
At the same time he established an international framework of criteria that enabled assessment and analysis of the impact made, and enabled effective benchmarking against other luxury automotive brands.
The role progressed in 2005 to encompass responsibility for sponsorship, identifying new revenue streams, building partnerships and driving opportunities on a large scale.
By 2006 it had developed further to include full responsibility for marketing and subsequently sales, developing the event-based strategy, including the highly successful range of international driving activities for Ferrari owners.
These events simply did not exist in the first half of the decade and now add considerably to market perceptions and the ‘desirability’ of the brand.
In addition to deputising for the Managing Director the role included responsibility for all sales through the network of official Ferrari dealerships, including dealer and customer finance.
1997 to 2004 – Head of Communications, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd
The primary role was to develop an industry consensus through the media to lobby government and ensure the most favourable outcome for the motor industry’s views.
The success achieved in these areas was due to a combination of developing a strategy that was accepted and bought-into by the most senior industry executives (typically the CEOs of car manufacturers) at a UK and European level (through ACEA, Association of European Car Manufacturers), and bringing together the right team of people internally and then delivering the results.
Restored the credibility of the SMMT as an effective communications team in the eyes of the media, motor industry and government.
National spokesman on call for TV, radio and newspaper comment 24/7 for all motor industry issues across all sectors (car, truck, components, aftermarket) – environment, safety, taxation, pricing etc winning many TV debates on these core issues.
UK representative to ACEA on communication issues, driving European strategy that was effective for the UK.
1988 to 1997 – Journalist and Presenter
During ten years with the BBC and Commercial Radio developed strong communication skills as a journalist and radio presenter grasping the context of an issue, reporting and debating it in straightforward terms with a wide audience.
Interviewed and reported on all news types, politics, crime, current affairs, agriculture, motoring, interviewed all of the important individuals (celebrity and political) and presented roadshows and live outside programmes in front of large audiences.
Created and ran an independent production company in parallel with BBC employment providing media training, speech writing, voice-overs for commercials and creation of audio products.
Radio stations worked at include
- BBC Radio Gloucestershire
- BBC GLR
- BBC Radio Lancashire
- BBC GMR
- BBC Southern Counties Radio
- Signal Radio
- Echo 96