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Johnnie Walker reviews at BBH – but is a premium drinks company that good a bet these days?

Diageo’s Johnnie Walker whisky is apparently reviewing its ad account, which has been been with BBH since 1999. The agency produced the famous ‘Keep Walking’ campaign which was topped up recently by this epic in Brazil, with sister agency Neogama.

Wonderful stuff it is too, but the booze business is becoming a bit harder these days (Diageo’s revenues and profits are taking a tumble as markets like China turn away from over-priced hooch).

Johnnie Walker recently ran an experiential-cum-video campaign starring actor Jude Law, via Anomaly.

Which I thought was complete nonsense although it, undeniably, made a splash and. no doubt, made the client feel good.

Client Guy Escolme, global brand director, says: “The brand’s relationship with BBH has been hugely successful, with the agency producing award-winning work of outstanding creativity.

“As the market leader, Johnnie Walker feels the time is right to invite selected agencies, including BBH, to look at how we take the brand forward into the future.”

Well, fair enough, 15 years is a long time. I also note that Diageo has given BBH/Neogama in Brazil a big new campaign for White Horse whisky. So it’s swings and roundabouts.

We’ll see. Companies like Diageo face an uphill struggle in a more price-conscious world.

If I were at BBH I’d be looking for a beer brewer with a big ad account.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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