Jim Beam Gets Down to Semifinalists

CHICAGO Jim Beam cut to semifinalists this week in a review of its $20 million account, sources said.

Among the shops making the second round for the Deerfield, Ill.-based account are incumbent Young & Rubicam, BBDO, Element 79, Leo Burnett and Ogilvy & Mather, all Chicago; Carmichael Lynch, Colle + McVoy and Fallon, all Minneapolis; North Castle Partners Advertising, Stamford, Conn.; and The Wolf Group, New York, sources said. The agencies declined to comment.

The review, which launched in February, includes all brands under the Jim Beam name, as well as DeKuyper cordials, Knob Creek bourbon and Vox vodka.

The company’s vice president of marketing, Tom Hernquist, a former Nabisco marketing executive, joined Jim Beam last February.

Y&R won the Jim Beam business in March 1999, following a review. The incumbent at that time, Fallon in Minneapolis, did not defend, citing “strategic differences” after working on the account for 10 years.

A decision is expected in April. The review is being managed by New York consultant AAR Partners.