Diageo Taps Mother for Tanqueray, More Changes on the Way

Marks Another Win in the Beer and Spirits Category for Independent Ad Shop

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Diageo is shuffling its agency lineup again, handing creative duties for Tanqueray gin to Mother, New York, from Wieden & Kennedy, the marketer told Ad Age.

The win gives independent Mother another big booze victory after earlier this year taking the global account for Beck's, the international beer brand owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, which will be handled out of the agency's New York and London offices.

Diageo, which declined further comment, could also be on the verge of naming a new agency for rum brand Captain Morgan, which is now handled by WPP's Grey, New York. The frontrunner appears to be independent Anomaly. Anomaly earlier this year boosted its liquor business by winning work from A-B, which tapped the shop for new Budweiser commercials. Neither Mother nor Anomaly would comment on the shifts, referring calls to the clients.

Tanqueray and Captain Morgan are among the Diageo's eight "global priority brands" that get consistent marketing treatment across the globe.

The changes come on the heels of other recent switches for Diageo that include reassigning its $130 million U.S. media account to Aegis' Carat from WPP's MediaCom.

U.S. measured media spending on Tanqueray in the U.S. so far this year is $1.4 million. The latest campaign, by Wieden, Amsterdam, is called "Resist Simple" and seeks to emphasize the gin's complex ingredients, calling it a "taste everyone can describe but no one can identify."

U.S. sales of Tanqueray dropped by 0.64% in the year ended Nov. 28 to $23.7 million, according to SymphonyIRI, which excludes Walmart and liquor stores.

U.S. measured media spending on Captain Morgan last year was $19.8 million, more than all other Diageo brands except for Smirnoff, which got $31.2 million, according to the Ad Age DataCenter. This year, the brand is getting even more attention, with $22.2 million in spending so far, according to Kantar Media. The latest effort has the iconic Captain character gaining a "first mate" in supermodel Marisa Miller.

Captain Morgan sales increased by 1.1% to $133 million in the year ending Nov. 28.

Diageo last year moved Jose Cuervo to MDC Partners' Crispin Porter & Bogusky from WPP's JWT and switched Don Julio to Grey, New York, from MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners.

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