United Distillers hires agency to handle npd

United Distillers (UD) has strengthened its commitment to investment in new product development (npd) with the appointment of its first dedicated npd advertising agency.

St Luke’s is tipped to take its place on the UD roster alongside existing agencies Leo Burnett, which handles advertising for Gordon’s Gin, and WCRS, which handles Bell’s Scotch Whisky.

Andy Neal, United Distillers UK consumer marketing director, says: “New product development is one of our core priorities.” He refused to comment on a budget.

He says the dedicated npd agency’s first task will be to support the launch of Ginzing, a fizzy citrus drink with a base of Gordon’s Gin (MW December 13). Other launches are set to follow, some of which may be marketed worldwide, he says.

Neal stresses that although the npd agency will get most of the company’s new launches, it does not exclude other advertising projects, such as line extensions, being awarded to Leo Burnett or WCRS.

United Distillers’ recent npd includes the launch of a pre-mixed drink of its Bell’s whisky and AG Barr’s soft drink Irn-Bru; a black premium single malt whisky called Loch Dhu; and a 12-year-old single malt whisky called Glen Ord.

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