Diageo ‘Reserve Portfolio’ Goes to KB+P

NEW YORK Diageo has awarded creative duties on its estimated $15 million “reserve brand portfolio” account to Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners following a review, the client has confirmed.

The MDC Partners agency beat out another New York shop, independent StrawberryFrog, for the business. The client spent $153 million in media in 2005, and $20 million in 1Q 2006.

The newly formed “reserve brand portfolio” includes Don Julio tequila, Ciroc vodka and nearly a dozen premium scotches, including Oban and Talisker.

Sources said the London-based client had grouped together the brands, which have historically received scant advertising support, in order to award them to a single agency and increase their profile. The client declined comment on the matter, and would say only that the brands had previously been with a number of different shops.

Grey Worldwide handles several the client’s brands, including Captain Morgan rums and Tanqueray. BBDO holds the Guinness and Red Stripe business, and Bartle Bogle Hegarty handles Johnny Walker, among other labels.

Grey had won advertising duties for the Don Julio brand last October, but, according to sources, never began work on the account because the client quickly created the new grouping and put it into review.

“StrawberryFrog saw this as an opportunity to transform the way spirits advertising is done, communicating with twenty-something technophile urban nomads who are constantly on the move and who connect with their ad messages in new ways. Nothing we presented is terrifying, it’s actually a huge opportunity. We are still involved with Diageo and I suspect we will have something to show soon,” said StrawberryFrog CEO Scott Goodson.

KB+P comes with considerable liquor experience, having handled creative duties for Hennessy (now owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) for 14 years. The shop resigned that account after it went into review earlier this year. It was awarded to WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron United earlier this month.