$35 Mil. U.S. Smirnoff Account Goes to BBH

NEW YORK Bartle Bogle Hegarty has snared U.S. creative duties on Diageo’s Smirnoff Ice following a pitch against the incumbent, WPP Group’s J. Walter Thompson in New York and London, Diageo said on Monday.

The brand was backed by about $35 million in U.S. spending last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Still in play are international duties, with billings estimated at $15 million, now handled by JWT. Both BBH and JWT remain in contention for that assignment, along with Omnicom Group’s AMV BBDO in London.

Two offices were involved in BBH’s pursuit of the U.S. account, and initially, the business will be run out of London. In time, however, the business may shift to New York, said a source, who noted that the U.S. and global clients on Smirnoff Ice are both based in Stamford, Conn.

BBH, which is 49 percent owned by Publicis Groupe, also handles ad duties on other Diageo brands.