Drinks giant UDV plans extensive PR review

A widescale review of UDV’s PR agencies is expected to get the go-ahead when the drinks giant’s new marketing director comes on board later this month.

A widescale review of UDV’s PR agencies is expected to get the

go-ahead when the drinks giant’s new marketing director comes on board

later this month.



Syl Saller, formerly marketing and development director at Allied Domecq

Retail in the US, will examine UDV’s entire marketing structure.



Since UDV’s parent company, Diageo, was created last year through the

merger of Guinness and GrandMet, the wine and spirits division has been

reviewing its agencies on a brand-by-brand basis. But, in June, PR Week

revealed that an overall review was likely to take place after a

marketing director was found.



UDV is understood to spend over pounds 600,000 a year on PR for its

brands, which include Piat d’Or, Di Saronno, Drambuie, Archer’s, whisky

brands J&B and Bell’s, Smirnoff, Gordon’s gin and Baileys Irish

Cream.



The various accounts are spread between Berners Place, Jackie Cooper PR,

QBO, Mulcaster PR and Marketing, The Communication Group, Lexis and Mark

Borkowski Press and PR.



Saller’s arrival will follow UDV’s appointment last week of Borkowski to

handle a special project for Baileys, following a pitch involving up to

three other agencies.



The brief is believed to include providing support for a forthcoming

advertising campaign for the brand, to be created by J Walter

Thompson.



The PR agency will almost certainly be asked to further UDV’s attempts

to ’de-seasonalise’ the brand - 60 per cent of Baileys sales occur in

October, November and December - although Borkowski refused to comment

on the appointment.



UDV has been committing significant resources in an attempt to extend

Bailey’s appeal to younger people without alienating its usual market,

and has tried to achieve this through giving its advertising a

distinctly sexy slant.



Baileys accounts for a large share of UDV’s sales. The drink has a 60

per cent share of the cream liqueur market.



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