Bacardi Group hires Ogilvy PR for seven-figure Europe-wide brief

Bacardi Group has hired Ogilvy PR for a new Europe-wide consumer PR brief believed to be worth seven figures, following a four-way competitive pitch, PRWeek has learned.

Bacardi: Has hired Ogilvy PR for lucrative European-wide brief
Bacardi: Has hired Ogilvy PR for lucrative European-wide brief

The brief will see Ogilvy PR handle consumer PR for Bacardi Group’s extensive brands portfolio – which includes its eponymous rum brand, Bombay Sapphire gin and Grey Goose vodka – across the continent. Ogilvy's work will be led from the agency’s London office.

Bacardi previously used a mixture of retained agencies and agencies hired for project work across Europe, varying by country and brand.

The decision to make the change coincided with a restructure about 18 months ago that saw the creation of two 'centres of excellence' in North America and Europe, each headed by a chief marketing officer reporting both to CEO Mike Dolan, who joined the business last year, and to regional presidents. A new UK head of marketing was appointed last week.

Bacardi global brand PR director Lisa Jedan told PRWeek UK: "Historically, what was happening was that, whether it was above the line or below the line, we were working with a different agency in almost every country. That's not sustainable. What we are doing is aligning our new structure with the new ways of working."

She added: "It was a chance to look at the opportunities to share learnings, share creative, ensure a level of excellence across markets and find some efficiencies."

The final pitch process involved four agencies: two Bacardi incumbents and two that had not worked for the drinks company previously. Bacardi was looking for an agency that had presence across Europe.

The creation of the centres of excellence last year followed the departure of chief marketing officer Dima Ivanov after less than six months in the role.

Dolan said at the time: "It has become increasingly clear that we have to change in order to win. Now, it’s about changing how we organise to give our people, our partners and our brands a real shot at success."

Ogilvy PR declined to comment.

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