Brewing industry campaign Let There Be Beer has recruited a former Guinness marketing chief to lead the push.

Eight months after brewers joined forces to launch the campaign to boost beer sales, The Grocer can reveal David Cunningham has been appointed programme director. He was most recently chief marketing officer at Accolade Wines and has held senior roles including business development director at Constellation Wines. He led global marketing for Guinness during his eight years at Diageo.

Promising “exciting developments” over the coming months, Cunningham said he was looking to “work hard in partnership with the whole beer industry to create a consumer campaign that reignites the nation’s love of beer”.

The appointment of a programme director is likely to be welcomed by critics of the campaign, who have suggested Let There Be Beer has struggled to meet its aims.

When it launched last summer, marketing experts said the campaign TV ad was unlikely to bring new consumers to the category and, in an embarrassing blow for organisers, it was later banned by advertising watchdogs for, among other things, implying alcohol had therapeutic qualities and could overcome problems.

But organisers this week said the campaign had managed to gain the support of more than 48 UK breweries in the UK, and had 129,000 fans on Facebook. They added that the website - previously criticised for focusing on the biggest brewers’ beers - now featured more than 400.