William Grant & Sons has split its &£10m global advertising for the Glenfiddich whisky brand between Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest (VCCP) and US-based Merkley Newman Harty (MNH). The incumbent McCann-Erickson has lost the &£2.5m UK advertising business, an account it has held for almost three decades.
McCann-Erickson will continue to work for the brand in some markets, such as Spain and France.
VCCP and MNH have been briefed to come up with global campaigns for the brand, which will be thoroughly reviewed over the coming months. It is not clear whether the stag icon, which is associated with blue-collar sport in America, will be ditched.
Managing director Simon Macdonald, alongside group marketing director for malts Paul Godfrey, oversaw the pitch. Macdonald, a former Bass Beers marketer, joined William Grant last year from Citibank, where he was the managing director of business banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (MW November 13, 2003).
The pitch was called last summer by the former international marketing director Tim Dewey, who is understood to have been asked to leave the family-run business following a disagreement over strategy (MW August 7, 2003).
Dewey was responsible for Glenfiddich, blended whisky Grant’s and super-premium brand Balvenie, as well as for developing a consumer culture within a company which has historically been a trade and import business. Dewey has since joined SAB Miller as international brands director (MW January 8).
William Grant suffered a spate of management-level departures last year, including group managing director Patrick Thomas (MW May 22, 2003) and managing director Patrick Albaladejo (MW November 13, 2003).