Ketel One Picks Grey

NEW YORK Diageo has awarded lead creative duties on its Ketel One Vodka brand to roster shop Grey here after a review, sources said. Estimated annual media spending on the  brand is $25 million.

The WPP Group shop bested three other contenders to land the account: MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, independent Wieden + Kennedy and the incumbent, independent M&C Saatchi, said sources.

Grey now handles three Diageo brands. The others are Captain Morgan rum and Crown Royal whiskey. The agency referred calls to the client, where reps could not immediately be reached. Sources said Grey announced the win internally today.

Major media spending on Ketel One totaled $14 million last year, down 36 percent from 2007’s total of $22 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Those figures do not include online spending.

Grey’s win comes as the New York office searches for a new president, following the exit of Steve Hardwick last week. Hardwick had been in the role since May 2007.

Other Grey N.Y. clients include Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Olive Garden and E*Trade.