In another blow to McCann-Erickson – and its new European chief, Rupert Howell – Bacardi-Martini is reviewing its award-winning global advertising account for Bacardi Breezer.
The two reviews put increased pressure on Howell, who took up the European reins at McCann-Erickson last week. The Birds Eye review threatens the agency’s tenure on Unilever’s roster and Bacardi Breezer is McCann’s flagship creative account, which it has held since the premium packaged spirit brand was launched in the early Nineties.
In the weeks before Howell’s arrival as European president of McCann Group for Europe, Glenfiddich announced it was reviewing its 30-year, &£10m global advertising relationship with the agency, and Somerfield walked out, taking its business to M&C Saatchi.
McCann created Bacardi’s Tom Cat brand mascot, which was launched in 2000 and was credited with much of the brand’s considerable success. Insiders claim that, although Bacardi maintains the review does not affect McCann’s hold on the &£5m UK business, it is not good news as the agency could be forced to run ads in the UK created by another agency.
Bacardi-Martini UK managing director, Stella David has been given additional responsibility for the Netherlands. This follows the recent promotion of the company’s top UK marketer, Maurice Doyle, who last month took on the newly created role of commercial director to oversee all sales and marketing activities (MW August 28).