Burson-Marsteller has been appointed by spirit manufacturer Jim
Beam Brands (JBB) on fees in excess of pounds 500,000 to handle the
first pan-European campaign for the world’s best-selling bourbon, Jim
The brief, to raise consumer awareness of the brand, was awarded after a
two-way pitch against Hill and Knowlton (PR Week, 10 September).
According to Sandra McLaughlin, PR manager for the drinks firm, B-M was
selected because of its creative ideas.
Another important factor is that B-M is owned by JBB’s advertising
agency, Young and Rubicam.
The appointment is part of an overall strategic push by Jim Beam
throughout Europe. The drive is set to begin early next year and will
also include a major pan-European advertising and sales promotion
’B-M suggested some great creative concepts that will integrate with our
global advertising and marketing. The aim is that this integration will
bring the brand to life,’ said McLaughlin.
Prior to appointing B-M, PR was handled in-house by McLaughlin. At B-M
the account will be headed by European marketing managing director David
JBB uses two other UK agencies. Freud Communications works on Vladivar
Vodka, while Hill and Knowlton promotes Whyte and Mackay blended whisky
and Glayva liqueur.
Sales of Jim Beam and other US blended spirit brands and bourbons such
as Jack Daniels increased by 55 per cent between 1994 and 1998, while
over the same period sales of Scotch whisky fell 18 per cent.
According to industry analysts, Scotch whisky’s declining popularity is
partly due to the perception among young people that it is