Diageo Taps Carat for Media

Spirits marketer Diageo had awarded its domestic media duties to Aegis Group’s Carat after a review, the client has confirmed.

The company spends approximately $130 million on ads annually in the U.S., per Nielsen.

The incumbent on the account was MediaCom, a unit of WPP Group, which defended.

MediaCom won the company’s U.S. media after a consolidation review in 2001 that also included CIA Medianetwork, a predecessor to Mediaedge:cia. MediaCom’s network TV buying clout and connections in Washington, D.C., helped it land the business

TV was a focal point during the last review, and one of the agency briefs was to provide ideas on how to advertise liquor on TV. This time around, however, the client is said to be more interested in digital applications given the advancements in that space, sources said.

Headquartered in London, Diageo was formed in 1997 following the merger of GrandMet and Guinness. Brands include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Baileys, J&B, Jose Cuervo, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines and Bushmills Irish whiskey.

Two of Diageo’s other brands — Captain Morgan and Tanqueray — launched creative searches today.