MediaCom Wins Diageo

LOS ANGELES-MediaCom, New York, has won English food and beverage giant Diageo’s consolidated $150 million U.S. beer and spirits review after a two-shop final round that also included CIA Medianetwork, New York, which handles Diageo’s Guinness beer brand. MediaCom, the Grey media network, handles Seagram’s, currently in the process of being acquired by Diageo and Pernod.

CIA, a Diageo shop for 12 years, brought out some big guns in the review, including chairman Chris Ingram and Bill Croasdale, the legendary and recently retired broadcast maven who joined the CIA pitch as a consultant. Ultimately, however, MediaComn’s network tv buying clout and connections in Washington prevailed, sources said. One of the briefs agencies were given in the review was to provide ideas on how to advertise liquor on tv.

“This was an honest, ethical and very well run review,” said Tom Sassos, CEO of CIA. “We were always a dark hourse,and we were told the presentations ended in a dead heat. But the review turned on a pretty key element for Diageo in an area where MediaCom has great capability.”