Diageo-owned Guinness is reviewing its advertising with a view to consolidating its £50m creative account in a single global agency.
Saatchi & Saatchi, which holds the £14m Guinness account in Africa, and Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, which handles Guinness advertising in the UK worth about £20m, are pitching head on for the global business.
The pitch will be handled by Jon Potter, global brand director for Guinness, and a decision is expected by the end of the year.
Diageo’s spirits arm, United Distillers & Vintners, also uses global networks for its key brands.
HHCL & Partners, which handles the advertising in Ireland, Ogilvy & Mather, which holds the Singapore and Malaysia account, German agency Frohling Werbeagentur and Weiss, Stagliano & Partners, which looks after the US and Canada, have all lost their respective Guinness accounts.
The global account will encompass the three main Guinness brands Guinness Draught, Guinness Original and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, which is mainly sold in Africa and Asia, as well as bottled and canned Guinness and extra cold.
Commenting on the announcement, Potter says: “Moving to a single global agency will allow us to develop new and groundbreaking advertising in all of our markets, not simply two or three.”
He adds the move does not necessarily mean that Guinness advertising will take the form of a single global execution.
Saatchi also holds the £23m UK account for Carlsberg. A spokeswoman declined to comment on any potential conflict between the two brands.
Doug Clydesdale, marketing director for Carlsberg-Tetley, says: “We have a strong relationship with Saatchi and depending on the outcome we would need to work together to resolve any issues.”