United Distillers & Vintners has begun the review of its 30m creative business, and is believed to be considering cutting its roster from seven to three agencies.
UDV is the spirits division of Diageo, formed from the merger of Grand Metropolitan’s IDV and Guinness’s United Distillers.
It employs IDV agencies Lowe Group for Smirnoff and Smirnoff Mule, Court Burkitt Company for Archers, Baileys, Malibu and Di Saronno Amaretto Liqueur and Young & Rubicam for Jose Cuervo and Croft sherry.
The United Distillers agencies include Leo Burnett, which handles Gordon’s gin, WCRS with Bell’s eight-year-old scotch whisky and “Classic Malts” and St Luke’s with Tony’s Freezer Cocktails. There are also a number of other agencies employed on some of UDV’s spirits brands. It has 24 UK brands.
It is thought that Lowe’s position is safe, but that other agencies could be axed in the centralisation.
UDV has confirmed that UK marketing director Tony Scouller, former marketing chief of IDV, has started the review of agencies. A spokeswoman says: “The review is happening, but no decisions have been made yet. We have no names or details.”
It follows last week’s decision to put the media buying for the business up for review. Mindshare, TMD Carat and Western International Media are involved in the pitch.