Jim Beam Cuts to 5 Semifinalists

CHICAGO Jim Beam’s senior vice president of marketing Tom Hernquist is leaving the company putting a delay in an agency review until a replacement is made, a company representative confirmed.

Hernquist will join Hershey Foods Corp. as senior vice president, chief marketing officer, effective April 28, the Hershey, Penn., company announced.

Meanwhile, five Midwest agencies have made the semifinals in the review for Beam’s $20 million advertising account, a company representative said.

Advancing in the competition for the Deerfield, Ill., business are incumbent Young & Rubicam, BBDO and Element 79, all in Chicago, and Carmichael Lynch and Fallon, both in Minneapolis.

Eliminated from the list were Leo Burnett and Ogilvy & Mather, both in Chicago; Colle + McVoy of Minneapolis; North Castle Partners Advertising in Stamford, Conn.; and Wolf Group in New York.

“The agency review process is continuing full-speed ahead,” the representative said.

The review, which began in February, includes all brands under the Jim Beam name, as well as DeKuyper cordials, Knob Creek bourbon and Vox vodka.

Y&R won the Jim Beam business in March 1999, following a review. The incumbent at that time, Fallon in Minneapolis, did not defend, citing “strategic differences” after working on the account for 10 years.

A decision is expected this month. The review is being managed by New York consultancy AAR Partners.