Incumbent KB+P Departs Hennessy Pitch

NEW YORK Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners has bowed out of the review for Hennessey’s estimated $10 million account, which the shop has held for 14 years, according to an agency executive.

“We’ve had great success over the past 16 years,” said Michael Houston, partner, director of business development at KB+P in New York. “We believe our energy should be spent addressing our client’s current business challenges rather than diverting our attention to a time-consuming review process.”

The liquor company is KB+P’s longest standing client. Three challengers will make final presentations the week of May 15 for the Hennessy cognac account, sources have said. They are: MDC Partners’ Margeotes Fertitta Powell, independent Wieden + Kennedy and WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron United, all New York.

The review began in January [Adweek Online, Jan. 26] and is being managed by New York consultancy Matchworks, which was unavailable for comment, as were executives at New York-based Moet Hennessy USA. Executives at the agencies either could not be reached or declined to comment.

Tagged “Never blend in,” a recent campaign from KB+P featured longtime recording artists such as Marvin Gaye and Miles Davis and more contemporary ones like Rakim and Eric B. Most recently, KB+P created a TV spot for Hennessy that asks the question, “What is character?” The theme line, “Pure character,” was introduced earlier this year as part of the brand’s Hispanic campaign.

A division of LMVH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), Moet Hennessy USA was formed in February 2005 through the merger of Clicquot, Millennium Import and Schieffelin & Co. Its other brands include Moet Chandon, Dom Perignon, Krug, Veuve Clicquot, and Belvedere and Chopin vodkas.