United Distillers and Vintners UK has put all seven of its UK PR
agencies on three months’ notice, pending a full review of its PR
The company currently spends in excess of pounds 600,000 on PR annually,
in support of its brands which include Smirnoff vodka, J&B whisky,
Gordon’s gin and Bailey’s Irish Cream.
The agencies affected are Borkowski PR, Starfish Communications, the
Communications Group, Jackie Cooper PR, QBO, Lexis PR and Mulcaster
The initiative is part of the company’s agency rationalisation which
began in 1998 when UDV UK’s parent company, Diageo, was created through
the merger of Guinness and GrandMet. It will be overseen by marketing
director Syl Saller who joined last November (PR Week 5 November). The
review is expected to be completed by April.
UDV UK PR chief, Alicia Tetlow, said: ’This is an opportunity for UDV UK
to look at the different ways in which PR can be incorporated into brand
communications.’ UDV declined to say whether the decision could lead to
a smaller agency roster, a single agency appointment, or the creation of
a larger in-house team.