Ogilvy & Mather has emerged as the winner, at the expense of Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis, in a global brand realignment following the £13bn merger of British American Tobacco and Rothmans.
O&M, which already handles brands for Rothmans International and BAT in selected markets, gains an estimated £50m of new international cigarette advertising business. It also gains a place on the roster of global agencies for the merged company, which has a combined marketing budget of up to £1bn.
BAT roster agencies Bates and Grey also win new slugs of Rothmans business.
Rothmans International uses Publicis to advertise Peter Stuyvesant and Saatchi for Winfield and Dunhill. Saatchi also handles Winfield for Rothmans UK.
Under the new structure, O&M will handle Rothmans, Peter Stuyvesant, Winfield and the BAT regional brand Free. Grey adds Rothmans brands Dunhill, Vogue and Cartier to its list of BAT brands, which include Kent, Pall Mall, Silk Cut, Barclay and Players Gold Leaf.
Bates will takes on Craven A, London and Golden American, alongside its existing BAT brands State Express 555, Lucky Strike, and Benson & Hedges outside Europe (except duty free shops).
BAT worldwide marketing director Jimmi Rembiszewski, who is to head the merged company’s marketing, says: “Aligning agencies following a merger is never a straightforward or easy task. However, we are successfully integrating the management of strategic brands quickly with our agency partners.”
New agency arrangements will be implemented during 1999 subject to existing contracts.