TBWA/C/D Adds Martell Cognac

Bests Fellow Seagram Roster Shop for $40 Mil. Global Account
NEW YORK–Seagram has awarded global creative duties on its Martell Cognac brand to TBWA/
Chiat/Day after a pitch against sister roster shop Grey Advertising, sources said. Billings are estimated at $40 million.
Previously handled by Ogilvy & Mather here, the brand has received limited media support in the U.S. The assignment, however, covers the U.S., Europe and Asia. Ogilvy declined to defend.
TBWA/C/D, which now handles a half-dozen Seagram brands, referred calls to the client, which could not be reached at press time.
Besides Martell, TBWA/C/D handles creative duties on Chivas Regal, Seagram’s Gin, The Glenlivet and Godiva Liquor, as well as creative and media for Absolut Vodka. Grey’s MediaCom unit handles media duties for all brands except Absolut.
The review, which began in the fall [Adweek, Oct. 25], was part of an overall reassessment of brands being led by chief marketing officer Joe Tripodi, formerly of MasterCard.
TBWA/C/D and Grey presented creative concepts in early December that were later tested domestically and abroad, sources said. TBWA/C/D’s pitch team included executives from New York, London and Hong Kong, including New York president and CEO Carl Johnson. Grey tapped resources from New York and London.
Sales of Martell have declined in recent years, with the brand trailing rivals such as Hennessy, Courvoisier and Remy Martin. In 1998, Martell sales fell 4 percent from 235,000 cases in 1997, according to Adams Liquor Handbook.
Ogilvy had handled Martell since late 1993, when Seagram shifted the business from DDB Needham. In 1998, Ogilvy broke a print and radio campaign that featured recording artists from Seagram label Universal Music Group and targeted 21- to 35-year-old African Americans.
Last year, through October, Seagram spent less than $1 million on on Martell advertising, per Competitive Media Reporting.