We Hear: Skyy Vodka Shopping for a New Agency

By Patrick Coffee 

Details are very sparse on this one, but sources tell us that Skyy Vodka–which is owned by Campari America and was the third highest-selling vodka in the U.S. in 2014–is looking for a new agency partner.

Skyy picked Venables Bell & Partners as its new lead creative agency in November 2013, with the San Francisco shop beating out Mekanism and Mistress for the business several months after Campari purchased the vodka company for more than $200MM (it had previously owned a minority stake in Skyy Spirits). At the time, Campari’s estimated media spend for its new brand was $30 million for 2014.

The account had previously been with development agency Lambesis for 15 years. Past campaigns included tie-ins to the first two Sex and the City movies, something called “Help Save the Gingers,” and a whole slew of print ads starring heavily Photoshopped women in white or silver bikinis.

The company, which started in the Bay Area in the ’90s, didn’t make TV ads until 2012, and Skyy hasn’t released a new one since VB&P’s “West of Expected,” which launched nearly two years ago.

After signing Venables, Campari added other agencies to the Skyy roster including South Carolina-based BFG Communications, which worked on various marketing projects for that brand and other Campari properties like Wild Turkey and Espolòn Tequila.

We first began hearing of changes at Campari late last year when sources claimed that BFG would no longer work on the business, but both client and agency declined to comment. Since then, the international company has been in expansion mode; it agreed to buy France’s Grand Marnier for about $760MM last month.

A Campari spokesperson again declined to comment for this post, citing the company’s policy of not discussing its relationships with its various agencies.

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