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Diageo's U.S. Media in Play

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Spirits marketer Diageo has put its U.S. media assignment into review.

The company spends approximately $130 million on ads annually in the U.S., per Nielsen.

The incumbent on the account is MediaCom, a unit of WPP Group. Sources said the shop would defend, but the agency declined to comment, referring questions to Diageo. Reps there did not respond to queries.

MediaCom won Diageo's U.S. media chores after a consolidation review in 2001 that also included CIA Medianetwork, a predecessor to Mediaedge:cia. MediaCom's network TV buying clout and connections in Washington, D.C., helped it land the business, sources said at the time.

TV was a focal point during the last review: one of the agency briefs was to provide ideas on how to advertise liquor on TV. Diageo is said to be more interested in digital applications given all the advancements in that space since the last review, per sources.

Headquartered in London, Diageo was formed in 1997 following the merger of GrandMet and Guinness. Brands include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Baileys, J&B, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines and Bushmills Irish whiskey.