Diageo Media Audit Moves to Review Stage

LOS ANGELES–Following an audit of its U.S. media activity, Diageo plc is moving to a consolidation review of its estimated $150 million-plus beer and spirits media business in the U.S., sources said.

Included in the consolidation are Guinness Brewing, United Distillers & Vintners (which markets Johnnie Walker Scotch and Smirnoff Vodka, among other brands) and Seagram. The latter spent more than $110 million in 2000, UDV spent just under $40 million and Guinness just under $10 million, per Competitive Media Reporting.

The London-based food and beverage marketer’s U.S. operations conducted an audit on its media activity in this country earlier in the summer [Adweek, June 11], but the process is now moving forward with a project assignment expected to be the next stage, according to sources. Within the last year, Guinness and UDV operations in the U.S. were merged into one marketing entity and Diageo and Pernod completed their acquisition of Seagram.

In the U.S., CIA Medianetwork, New York, handles Guinness, and Starcom, based in Chicago, is UDV’s media agency. MediaCom, New York, handles Seagram’s media. Sources said MindShare, whose sister agency New York-based J. Walter Thompson handles UDV brands globally, may also be invited to participate in the review.