United Distillers & Vinters (UDV) has placed its pounds 30m UK
centralised media-buying business with the media independent Carat.
UDV, the company formed out of the merger of United Distillers and IDV,
originally invited three agencies to pitch: incumbents Western and
Carat, and MindShare, which buys for Guinness. Mindshare was later
dropped from the list.
The decision follows speculation that UDV’s parent company Diageo is
planning a global media centralisation of its spirits portfolio, worth
around pounds 150m.
UDV, which has 24 UK spirit brands, including Bell’s, Archers and
Smirnoff, had previously split its media buying between Court Burkitt
and Company, Carat and Western. Brands that are owned by other
manufacturers but distributed in the UK by UDV, such as Brown Forman’s
Southern Comfort, were not included in the review.
Tony Scouller, UDV’s marketing director, said: ’We have decided to
centralise our media buying for the majority of our brands. Two
organisations of the highest quality presented and on balance we chose
The news will be a blow to Western, the media-buying arm of the Lowe
Group which has held much of the media-buying business for United
Distillers for the past eight years. Western retained the media planning
and strategy for Smirnoff, Sheridan’s, Baileys and Malibu, and buying
for Brown Forman’s Jack Daniels.
Mark Craze, managing director of Carat, said: ’It was a rigorous and
professional pitch process and we are delighted to be working with UDV
and some of the world’s most famous brands.’