Seagram streamlines worldwide operations

Spirits giant Seagram is preparing for the onslaught of its new rival Diageo, the merged Guinness and GrandMet group, with a major restructure of its global marketing organisation.

Seagram is reorganising its two existing marketing divisions into three brand groups in an attempt to speed up decision-making and foster “entrepreneurial spirit”.

The existing London-based Seagram Global Marketing organisation – responsible for the marketing of Scotch whisky, with brands such as Chivas Regal 12-year-old, Martell Cognac and Four Roses Bourbon – will be replaced with a group called Chivas Brothers.

This group will continue to handle marketing of the Chivas Brothers Scotch whisky brands, and will take on responsibility for the production of all Seagram’s Scotch whisky portfolio, but its other brand marketing responsibilities switch to other groups.

Marketing of local Scotch whisky brands, such as Glen Grant and The Glenlivet, will be handled at a local level. James Espey, president of this group, quit as part of the restructure (MW December 4).

Seagram Global Brands Division, based in Paris and formerly responsible for the production of Martell, Mumm and Perrier-Jouet Champagnes and Scotch whisky as well as the marketing of champagne, will be renamed Seagram’s Martell Mumm Group. This will handle the marketing of Martell Cognacs, as well as champagne, and will be headed by Hubert Millet as president.

A third brand group, called Seagram Americas Brand Company, will focus on the international development of North American spirits brands such as Captain Morgan Rum and Four Roses Bourbon.

Steven Kalagher, president of the Seagram Spirits & Wine Group, says: “The brand groups will have the commercial authority and entrepreneurial spirit of true brand owners, enabling us to act quickly.”

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