United Distillers and Vintners, the spirits giant formed from the
merger of United Distillers with International Distillers and Vintners,
has centralised its pounds 30 million media business into Carat after a
Carat pitched against Western International Media for business that
includes the media task for brands such as Smirnoff and Gordon’s
Both agencies already handled a portion of the business. Carat held the
United Distillers media account, while Western handled a large chunk of
the IDV business.
Court Burkitt, which also held IDV accounts, was not invited to pitch
for the centralised business. MindShare, which was included on the
original pitch list, was dropped from the pitch the week after the
review was announced.
UDV’s marketing director, Tony Scouller, confirmed this week that,
subject to the signing of a final contract, Carat would pick up the
Western will retain media planning and strategy for Smirnoff,
Sheridan’s, Baileys and Malibu, the brands for which its sister shop,
Lowe Howard-Spink, handles the creative work. Western continues handling
media buying for Jack Daniels, the Brown Forman-owned brand, which has a
marketing deal with UDV.
Scouller said that the presentations from both Carat and Western were
’of the highest quality’. He added: ’I would like to pay tribute to
Western International Media and to thank it for its work over the past
The media changes come two months after UDV re-aligned the bulk of its
creative work internationally into three networks, Leo Burnett, the Lowe
Group and J. Walter Thompson.
The review of the spirits division’s agency suppliers is part of a wider
review of all agencies used by its parent company, Diageo. UDV is also
planning a global media alignment for next year, with the possibility
that media planning and buying could be rationalised into a single
international media network.
This article was first published on Campaign