Coates is holding a four-way pitch for a consumer advertising push next year for its Plymouth Gin. It is understood that the ad campaign will cover the core premium gin brand and introduce brand extensions.
The distillery is owned by Vin & Sprit (V&S), which also owns the successful premium vodka Absolut. V&S would like Plymouth Gin to match Absolut’s success, which has been driven by aggressive advertising and the introduction of a range of variants.
International marketing manager Jane Yelloly is overseeing the pitch, but would not discuss which agencies were on the list. She was also unable to confirm an exact figure for the multi-million pound campaign.
In 2004, Plymouth Gin was the third biggest gin brand in the UK with around 1.4 per cent of the market by volume, just behind arch rival Bombay Sapphire on 1.8 per cent. Market leader was Gordon’s, with 10.8 per cent (Mintel).
Coates and the Plymouth Gin brand were originally owned by Allied Domecq, which sold them in 1996 to a management team led by John Murphy, founder of branding consultancy Interbrand. After relaunching Plymouth Gin and establishing it as a premium product, the management sold a 50 per cent stake to Vin & Sprit for &£20m in 2000. V&S has since acquired the remainder.