Diageo Sends Work on Liquor Brands to Anomaly and Barton F. Graf

By Patrick Coffee 

There’s a pretty interesting tidbit in today’s AdAge report on the news that Carat retained the vast majority of beverage giant Diageo’s media business: Barton F. Graf and Anomaly have effectively inherited work on several of its liquor brands.

The client has not been particularly responsive to our queries regarding its agency roster, meaning they haven’t answered our emails or phone calls, ever. But AdAge notes that WPP’s Mindshare will handle media for India and South Africa with Publicis on Australian duty and Dentsu running everything else.

The Age report also makes clear, without providing much in the way of details, that the review included a couple of creative changes regarding the following brands: Ketel One Vodka, Bulleit Bourbon, Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey and Buchanan’s Scotch.

BFG scored the first two while Anomaly got the latter pair in a move that marks the end of Diageo’s relationship with Grey—which had been AOR for both Ketel One and Crown Royal. We hear, though, that Grey had not done any work on these brands for some time and that it hadn’t produced any major campaigns for the larger client in years.

The most interesting part may be that Anomaly won Hispanic marketing duties for Buchanan’s and appears to be the first agency to work on that brand in any capacity. So now Anomaly will be competing against more specifically Hispanic shops. Get ready.

When Diageo announced its plans to launch a review earlier this year, Grey declined to participate and the company said it would send those portions of its brand portfolio to various roster agencies. Anomaly replaced BBH as Johnnie Walker’s AOR back in December 2014 and apparently inherited the Crown Royal brand work at some point thereafter. BFG has also counted Diageo among its clients for several years; in the 2011 announcement of Eric Kallman‘s hiring, BFG was working with the client “on a project basis.” So no formal creative review appears to have occurred.

Diageo, again, has not provided us with any specifics regarding this news. Representatives for Anomaly and Barton F. Graf have also declined to comment.

Given the fact that the client was spending “very little” toward the end of its tenure with Grey, however, it would seem that Diageo wants to beef up the marketing efforts behind its major liquor brands moving forward.

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