UDV UK has appointed Countrywide Porter Novelli as its lead
consumer PR agency for UK brands, 12 months after first mooting the idea
of consolidating the work.
Countrywide will now look after all of UDV’s brands, which include
Smirnoff vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and gin brands Tanqueray and
Gordon’s. The agency begins work immediately, with main board director
Sally Williams heading the account. Williams will report to Alicia
Tetlow, consumer PR manager at UDV.
Fees for the account have not yet been decided, but UDV is understood to
have spent in the region of pounds 600,000 annually on PR support for
its brands in the past.
Previously, UDV used seven different agencies, none of which was
Countrywide, each handling one or more different brands. The agencies
were put on three months’ notice at the beginning of the year (PR Week,
Countrywide will develop strategy for all the brands and there is a
possibility that further agencies will be appointed in support roles, to
Tetlow said: ’This will allow PR to have a greater role in the planning,
as well as the implementation, of our brand strategies.’
Countrywide was appointed after a competitive pitch with an undisclosed
number of agencies.
The appointment of Countrywide also completes what UDV, the spirits and
wines subsidiary of Diageo, describes as ’the internal restructuring and
the realignment of agency support’. The internal PR team has now been
split into trade and consumer PR. UDV is currently looking to appoint a
trade PR manager, who will report to marketing director Syl Saller.
According to Tetlow, UDV is also considering appointing an agency on a
trade PR brief.
Last year UDV’s worldwide operating profits rose seven per cent to
pounds 967 million.