Smirnoff Puts Its Global Creative Account in Review

By Patrick Coffee Comment

Yesterday we noted that U.K. beverage giant Diageo had launched a global creative review for the Johnnie Walker scotch brand.

Now we can confirm that its popular vodka, Smirnoff, is also in review.

72andSunny has been AOR for Smirnoff since the summer of 2013, when it beat out Anomaly, Mother and BBH. That review ended JWT’s 13-year relationship with the brand.

Since then, the MDC Partners shop has created a wide variety of spots for Smirnoff including, most recently, an extended series of primarily digital U.S. spots starring Ted Danson and a range of celebrities like Jenna Fischer and Laverne Cox.

The brand told Digiday in an August report that it is spending more money on Instagram Stories ads.

On the diversity front, 72andSunny also created a 2017 Smirnoff campaign dedicated to showcasing the transsexual and non-binary community called “We’re Open.” The same year, 72andSunny New York trolled the president with an OOH campaign snarking on its real-life ties to Russia.

You probably know that Diageo executives recently reached out to leaders at its brands’ agencies asking about their diversity strategies. As Bailey’s global head of brand Gráinne Wafer told The Drum in July, “I’ve done it recently – I’ve been met with some blank faces.”

CMO Syl Saller also recently sent letters hinting that it might be time for agencies to speed things up.

72andSunny declined to comment. A Diageo representative wrote, “We’re not going to comment on industry speculation. 72andSunny is our current agency of record on Smirnoff.”

At this time, it is unclear which agencies have been invited to pitch. Smirnoff is by far the world’s best-selling vodka brand, and Diageo spends approximately $50 million each year promoting it worldwide, according to consultancy R3.

Erik Oster contributed reporting.

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