MEDIA: Carat wins UDV task

United Distillers & Vinters (UDV) has placed its pounds 30m UK centralised media-buying business with the media independent Carat.

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.’


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