Bacardi acquires 42 Below vodka as Grey Goose campaign takes off

Bacardi is to pay $91m (48.7) for cult New Zealand vodka brand, 42 Below. The announcement comes as the spirits giant launches its first ever UK above the line campaign for Grey Goose, the premium vodka it already owns.

42 Below was launched by Geoff Ross, a former director of Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand, who has been responsible for all creative work from the company himself.

The brand has a history of deliberately courting controversy with its marketing: a year ago, it launched a viral advertising campaign in the UK which poked fun at the British and British culture (pictured). A Monty Python-style montage of famous British activities and faces was accompanied with a disparaging voiceover including comments about Britain “inventing cricket for the Aussies, rugby for the Kiwis, football for the Brazilians and Robbie Williams for the gays”.

A previous 42 Below viral for the US market, targeting gay consumers, triggered threats of a boycott.

The new ad campaign for Grey Goose consists of a series of advertorials featuring high-profile names from the style world, including chef Tom Aikens, designer Hassan Abdullah, photographer Lorenzo Agius, designer Roland Mouret and cocktail “mixologist” Laurent Greco. The ads will appear in the October editions of Harpers, GQ, Another Man, ID and Esquire magazines.

The advertorials were designed by Universal McCann and Purple PR.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here