Carat has won strategic media planning for the £35m United Distillers & Vintners UK account, after a pitch against J Walter Thompson.
The move consolidates the media planning and buying on UDV’s brands, including Smirnoff, Malibu, Archer’s, Gordon’s and Bailey’s into Carat.
The appointment is the result of a surprise decision by UDV to shift its global creative accounts for Bailey’s, Smirnoff and Malibu from Lowe & Partners Worldwide to JWT in April.
Planning for these brands was formerly handled by Lowe’s media arm, Western International Media.
Planning on Archer’s and Gordon’s is understood to have moved from Leo Burnett’s media shop Starcom.
UDV is the spirits division of Diageo, formed from the merged Grand Metropolitan’s IDV and Guinness’ United Distillers.
Media planning for brands not wholly owned by UDV – such as Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Drambuie, DiSaronno and JosÃ© Cuervo – are not included in the new arrangements.
Court Burkitt will still handle the media planning on Bell’s Scotch Whiskies.
Agencies commonly charge between 0.5 and one per cent on total billing for media planning.
A spokeswoman for UDV UK says: “The consolidation with Carat is a result of its record on buying and its responsibility for planning for Guinness and Pillsbury, also part of Diageo.”