Smirnoff Leaves JWT for 72andSunny

Shift ends JWT's long run as a Diageo roster shop

Just as JWT's longtime relationship with Diageo ends, another one begins.

72andSunny has landed global creative responsibilities on Smirnoff, a brand that JWT had handled since 2000. JWT, a WPP Group agency that at one point handled several Diageo brands, including Smirnoff, Baileys and Jose Cuervo, is now, as they say, open in the spirits category.

The Smirnoff shift came after a review that was mostly a roster shop affair. The other contenders included Anomaly, which handles Captain Morgan; Mother, which has Tanqueray; and Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the lead creative shop on Johnnie Walker and Baileys, according to sources. JWT did not defend.

"72andSunny presented a powerful, single-minded idea that we are confident will help deliver our growth ambitions," said David Gates, global head of premium core brands at Diageo.

Beyond the agency's pitch idea, Gates cited the shop's strategic thinking and "clear affinity with the brand and its consumers."

The assignment includes brand extensions such as Smirnoff Ice. Global media spending on the brand was not available, but in the U.S. spending approached $23 million last year, up from $20 million in 2011, according to Nielsen. Those figures, however, do not include online spending.



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