Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine is reviewing its 6m media planning and buying account, held by Zenith.
The pitch follows the disclosure that sales of Teacher’s Scotch whisky collapsed in the second half of 1996. Stats MR figures show that take-home sales by volume were down 29 per cent. This was despite the doubling of its media spend to 2m and a move into TV advertising for the first time.
Analysts are critical of Allied Domecq’s marketing, saying the figures show it has badly managed one of its key brands.
The company claims the poor sales were due to its decision not to get involved in a discounting war, in the light of its global strategy of building global premium brands.
However, a spokesman for Allied Domecq plays down the review as a routine, annual event.
The pitch is being handled by marketing manager Trudy Lloyd. She is temporarily replacing UK marketing director Hayley Beale, who is leaving in June to go to San Francisco.
Beale became marketing director for the company in November following the merger of URM Brands and JR Phillips – where she was director of marketing (MW June 14 1996).
Zenith won the 35m centralised media buying for Allied Domecq’s combined spirits and Carlsberg-Tetley beer in 1990.
In 1995, Allied Domecq centralised its 35m European media buying into Optimedia.