Diageo is understood to be in talks with direct marketing agencies with a view to extending its below-the-line roster.
The drinks giant retains Tullo Marshall Warren and Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel but it is not thought that either agency is under threat. TMW handles several brands including Guinness, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff, and Craik Jones works on Bell’s Scotch Whisky and Gordon’s Gin.
It is not clear whether Diageo is approaching agencies with a brief for a specific project or over a roster position, but it looks set to hold a pitch early next year.
Diageo is planning to embark on a massive shake-up of its agency arrangements worldwide, as revealed in Marketing Week last month (MW November 10). It spends an estimated $2.6bn (&£1.4bn) a year on advertising globally and has a roster of six network agencies and more than six local agencies working in various domestic markets. The roster includes Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Omnicom’s Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, WPP-owned Grey and JWT and Aegis’s Carat.
The shake-up is understood to have been triggered by a continuing profits slide at Diageo. Sales of Smirnoff Ice dropped 25 per cent in Europe last year.