Century Council Shifts Business

DALLAS The Century Council, a nonprofit organization created by the distilling industry to combat underage drinking, has shifted its account from Eisner Communications to Focused Image, the client said.

The council spent $1 million on advertising in 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Eisner, based in Baltimore, had held the account for more than five years. The work was awarded to Focused Image of Falls Church, Va., without a review, said Century Council representative Leslie Kimball.

Though the council was pleased with Eisner’s work, “We just wanted a fresh face,” Kimball said.

New efforts from Focused Image are expected to launch this month.

Founded in May 1991 and funded by some of America’s leading distillers, the Century Council has received more than $130 million in the last decade from the liquor industry. The council is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Last month, French distiller Pernod Ricard withdrew from the council in a dispute over the group’s support of liquor sponsorships in auto racing.

In a letter to the council, Pernod called such sponsorships inappropriate and potentially damaging to the council’s credibility.

Century Council executives are seeking to convince Pernod to reverse its decision to leave. The company’s withdrawal takes effect Nov. 1.

Brown-Forman, maker of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, entered into Nascar sponsorships in December 2004. The Jack Daniel’s racing initiative was the most expensive marketing deal in the whiskey brand’s history and came weeks after Nascar lifted a ban on liquor sponsorships.