IAC Loses Johnnie Walker to Vidal

DALLAS Schieffelin & Somerset has shifted Hispanic ad duties for its Johnnie Walker brand from the IAC Group to The Vidal Partnership, the client said.

Work includes media planning, placement, public relations, event marketing and point-of-sale duties for the brand.

Last fall New York-based Schieffelin & Somerset asked four roster ships to present their credentials in a review for what was then a Hispanic consolidation of merchandising, public relations and media duties for Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s, Pinch and Hennessy.

Participating in that contest were four agencies: independent LatinWorks in Austin, Texas, which has Hennessy; The IAC Group in Miami, which represented Johnnie Walker Black Label; The Vidal Partnership, which handles Buchanan’s and Pinch; and Grey-backed Wing Latino Group, which is affiliated with MediaCom, the media buying and planning partner for the distributor’s general-market brands. Vidal and Wing Latino are both based in New York.

The liquor distributor ultimately decided to shift duties only on Johnnie Walker. The other agencies will keep their respective business, according to client senior brand manager, Scotch Group Manny Gonzalez.

Independent Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York will continue to handle both general-market creative and media duties for Johnnie Walker.

“The good thing is the senior management of both BBH and The Vidal Partnership know each other and have tremendous mutual admiration,” Gonzalez said. “If the need arises for BBH to collaborate with The Vidal Partnership team, that’s a possibility.”

Billings are undisclosed. S&S, a unit of Diageo, spent $5 million on general-market media last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.