Diageo Launches Review of U.S. Media Biz

Incumbent MediaCom Will Participate in Contest for $130 Million Account

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A correction has been made in this story. See below for details.

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Diageo has launched a review of its $130 million U.S. media planning and buying account currently managed by WPP's MediaCom, according to executives with knowledge of the review. The review encompasses all of Diageo's brands, which include Jose Cuervo, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Bailey's, J&B, Guinness and Tanqueray.

MediaCom, which will take part in the review, won the business back in 2001. This marks the first time Diageo has reviewed the business since that time. MediaCom could not be reached for comment. It is still unclear which other agencies will take part in the review, but the roster could be big since many competitors don't have a client in the space.

In 2009 Diageo shuffled a lot of its creative assignments around, shifting creative advertising for its Jose Cuervo tequila brand to Crispin Porter & Bogusky from WPP's JWT. The spirits giant also handed creative duties on Don Julio brand to Grey, New York, last year after a review. And at the beginning of 2010 Diageo named Peter McDonough president, chief marketing and innovation officer of Diageo North America.

An industry executive said Diageo has made some changes internally and is looking to alter the way it goes to market, putting more of a focus on local and digital engagements.

So far in 2010, MediaCom has picked up the $100 million Travelers and $100 million Revlon accounts. But it lost the $40 million Lifetime Entertainment and $25 million JetBlue accounts.

Diageo did not return calls for comment. MediaCom could not be reached for comment.

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CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that JWT earlier lost Diageo's Don Julio account. The agency did not have that account. We regret the error.

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