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Diageo audits U.S. media roster shops

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LOS ANGELES -- Diageo has requested audits from media agencies on its U.S. roster in what may be a prelude to a consolidation, said sources. The client requested the audits to determine the return on its paid media investment, said one executive. Diageo's brands include Guinness, Smirnoff and J&B Scotch. Approval of Diageo and French drinks group Pernod Ricard SA's purchase of Canadian Seagram is expected next month, which will add brands such as Captain Morgan and VO Canadian. Last year, U.S. spending on Seagram's liquor business was about $110 million, while Diageo's was nearly $60 million, per CMR. Diageo's U.S. media shop roster includes Starcom in Chicago and CIA in New York. Seagram's primary media buyer is New York's MediaCom.