Jim Beam Taps New CMO

CHICAGO Beam Global Spirits & Wine has named Wrigley executive Rory Finlay svp, chief marketing officer.

In his new post, Finlay will oversee global marketing strategies for the Deerfield, Ill., company’s portfolio of spirits, including Jim Beam, Canadian Club, Courvoisier, Sauza tequila and Maker’s Mark bourbon. He will report to company president and CEO Tom Flocco.

Beam spent $20 million on U.S. advertising alone in 2005, and $12 million through the first 10 months of 2006, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

“With the expansion of our portfolio of premium brands, Beam is on its way to becoming a brand-led company,” Flocco said, in a statement. “Rory has extensive experience building brands from idea through field execution. He has driven several successful multi-brand efforts on both global and national levels, making him an excellent fit with our brand-led strategy.”

For the past 18 years, Finlay has been at Wrigley in Chicago, most recently as vp, managing director of new confectionary brands, overseeing Altoids and Life Savers.

Finlay replaces Beth Bronner as Beam’s CMO. Bronner left the company last July. Since then, John Muller has served as interim global CMO. Muller will continue his duties as svp, strategy and corporate development.

The company’s agencies include Omnicom’s Energy BBDO in Chicago, which handles Jim Beam and Starbuck’s liqueurs. (The shop is also Wrigley’s lead agency.) Publicis Groupe’s Publicis Dialog handles Canadian Club, Courvoisier, Sauza tequila and several other brands. Independent agency Doe-Anderson in Louisville, Ky., handles Makers Mark and Knob Creek bourbons.