Martell to woo younger drinkers

Pernod Ricard is on the hunt for an agency to handle a £160,000 PR account for its Martell cognac brand.

Martell wants to maintain its profile following the end of its 13-year sponsorship of the Grand National.

Rival Courvoisier, Britain’s biggest-selling cognac, has attracted younger consumers in recent years, but Martell is aiming to recapture market share by breaking down the Christmas seasonality of cognac drinking and drawing on its 290-year history.

Pernod Ricard inherited Martell as part of its acquisition of the Seagram drinks portfolio three years ago from Vivendi Universal, and has turned around the fortunes of the brand after steady decline of cognac sales in the 1990s.

Martell shifted 1.1 million cases globally in 2003, but sales grew by ten per

cent for the first nine months of 2004, compared to the same period in 2003. The third quarter delivered a particularly strong performance with 14 per cent growth.

Martell marketing manager Crispin Stephens is overseeing the pitch this month between incumbent agency Richmond Towers, Shine Communications and Aurelia PR.

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