Diageo has awarded Johnnie Walker, its global marquee creative account, to Anomaly after a pitch that included 15-year incumbent Bartle Bogle Hegarty as well as BBDO, Ogilvy & Mather and Wieden + Kennedy.
Agencies met this week with the client in Amsterdam for final meetings on the Scotch brand, which spent $40 million in measured media in 2013.
The review initially came as a surprise to some industry observers who saw BBH's "Keep Walking" strategy as one of the best in spirits marketing. When the campaign broke in 2000, brand sales represented 13 percent of the global market; at the end of 2013, that figure exceeded 20 percent, according to IWSR.
"This is obviously disappointing news but we will keep walking," said BBH co-founder Nigel Bogle.
The decision follows the launch of Johnnie Walker's new BBH spot, "The Next Step," using a year-end scenario that looks forward, rather than back, with a man walking through a dreamlike vision of 2015.
Nonetheless, the brand decided it was time to move on and determined the best way forward was with Anomaly.
"We were hugely impressed by the far-reaching creative vision which Anomaly proposed for our brand and with the strategic thinking that lies behind its development," Guy Escolme, Johnnie Walker global brand director said in a statement.