The review apparently is for media-buying only and involves both Schieffelin & Somerset brands such as Dewar's and Glenmore Distilleries' labels like Gordon's gin.
Shops that are AOR for creative will continue to handle planning for their respective brands.
A handful of agencies currently on the United Distillers roster were asked to pitch the media portion, and several unidentified media-buying services also were invited to pitch.
The company is believed to have whittled down the list to include Leo Burnert/Chicago, which handles Dewar's, and Grey Advertising, which handles Gordon's gin, as well as other unidentified shops.
Sources close to the process said Caffrey & Associates, a New York-based consultancy led by a former Ogilvy & Mather executive, is running the media review.
It is believed that the review is limited to spirits and does not include beer brands like Guinness.
According to LNA/Arbitron, the brands involved got about $32 million in measured media last year. However, one agency source said the media-buying account is worth $40-50 million.
At the same time the media review is ongoing, Schieffelin is evaluating its agency roster for creative work on at least two brands, Johnnie Walker Black and Tanqueray. Both brands are now at Smith/ Greenland, New York. Ammirati & Puris and Deutsch/Dworin, both New York, are still in the running. Avrett, Free & Ginsberg handles Johnnie Walker Red, which is not part of the creative review, but it is believed that Avrett was involved in the media pitch.
A Schieffelin & Somerset spokesperson said new senior vp/marketing Nick Fell has been meeting with various S&S agencies in an effort "to familiarize himself with the different agencies."
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)