Scotch whisky Bowmore has appointed The Bridge to handle its UK and international advertising business, to work on the brand’s first major ad push for several years.
The appointment follows a competitive pitch against a number of other unidentified shops. The Bridge will be handling both consumer and trade advertising.
The last agency of record for Bowmore – which is a single malt produced on the island of Islay – was Citigate Smarts (now IAS Smarts), but the account appears to have been dormant since 2004.
Bowmore is owned by Scottish distillery Morrison Bowmore, which is a subsidiary of Japanese drinks company Suntory.
Morrison Bowmore is a partner of Italian drinks company Campari in Fior Brands, which distributes Bowmore, Campari, Cinzano and Suntory’s Midori melon liqueur in the UK.
In many countries the market for whisky has been declining for some time as younger drinkers turn to clear spirits such as gin, vodka and tequila, and as the average amount people consume is reduced.
To offset both these trends, whisky producers have been investing in developing their single malt brands, which can command a higher price premium.
However, there are some exceptions – in Spain and Italy, whisky is drunk by a younger consumer, and is also drunk in restaurants with meals far more than in the UK, where off-licence sales dominate.