United Distillers & Vintners (UDV) has dealt a blow to Western International Media and appointed Carat to handle the greater share of its 25m UK media planning and buying account.
Carat beat Western in a two-way pitch for the 24 brands owned by UDV in the UK, including Smirn-off, Gordon’s, Pimm’s, Malibu, and White Horse.
UDV is the spirits division of Diageo, formed from the merger of Grand Metropolitan’s IDV and Guinness’ United Distillers.
Tony Scouller, marketing director of UDV UK, says: “We decided to centralise our media buying for the majority of our brands. Two organisations of the highest quality presented and on balance we chose Carat.”
Western holds on to the media buying for Brown Forman-owned Jack Daniel’s, which is distributed by UDV. It also retains the planning for UDV brands Smirnoff, Sheridan’s, Baileys and Malibu. Western claims this business is worth 9m.
Industry speculation is rife that Mike Smallwood’s position as Western’s UK chief executive will change following the loss of this business. Smallwood declined to comment on whether he would keep his current position.
Mike Tunnicliffe, the former managing director of CIA Medianetwork, is tipped to join the agency as managing director, a post that has been vacant for almost a year.
Carat managing director Mark Craze comments: “It was a rigorous and professional pitch. We will be working on some of the world’s most famous brands.”
UDV’s other major UK drinks brand, Bell’s, was awarded to full service agency Court Burkitt & Company in May.
IPM, the poster buying specialist owned by the Interpublic group, will continue to work for UDV despite the switch to Carat.