Drinks giant Bacardi, which owns Martini, Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire as well as the eponymous rum, has a struck a WPP-type deal with Omnicom’s BBDO and OMD media operation. The account will be run out of two ‘hubs’ in New York and London.
The London operation, whatever it is, will require some nifty footwork on the part of BBDO as its London agency AMV BBDO handles Guinness for Diageo, in many ways the agency’s signature account. Bacardi also owns whisky brand Dewars which competes with Diageo’s Johnnie Walker. Its hard to see a London Bacardi ‘hub’ working without a substantial contribution from AMV.
Bacardi tends to spend in fits and starts but the global business is likely to be worth over £100m. The creative moves from BETC London which launched a new global campaign for Bacardi – ‘Unbreakable’ – only last November. But BETC in London has looked decidedly underpowered since CEO Matthew Charlton and ECD Neil Dawson fell out and walked out 18 months ago. Dawson was crucial to Bacardi.
In the US Bacardi used a team of former McCann executives headed by former McCann CSO Lee Daley. Its media was split between ZenithOpimedia and Mindshare. The new deal follows the appointment of Dmitry Ivanov as CMO.
Bacardi Michael Dolan, the chief executive at Bacardi, said: “Our goal is to be able to work better and to create a closer alignment between our global and local operations. This new global partnership will be a great catalyst for achieving top-line growth.”
Which seems sensible enough but Bacardi, like many drinks companies, tends to flit about. Big drinks companies have so many brands these days that there never seems to be quite enough money to support all of them all of the time. From time to time the ad budget also disappears into trade marketing.
But if anyone can make this shiny new arrangement work it’s probably BBDO.