The move comes under a new top marketer, Lyle Tick, for the vodka category at Bacardi. Mr. Tick's background is on the agency side; he spent time at McGarryBowen, and most recently was at Mullen sibling Gotham for three years, where he rose to co-president.
Mullen begins its global assignment April 1. It's a big vote of confidence in the agency to execute work globally when the Boston-based shop has no global presence. It has three stateside offices, all on the East Coast.
"The passion the Mullen team demonstrated for the brand, its strategic insight, creativity and collaborative culture really shined through to set them apart. We look forward to writing the next chapter of this great brand with them to share our amazing story with consumers," said Mr. Tick, who is senior global category director for vodka at Bacardi Global Brands.
Prior to Mullen, Grey Goose worked for five years with @Radical for creative duties. It will continue to partner with the spirits maker on branded content such as its original TV series "Iconoclasts," a show that pairs leading creative innovators from different fields like fashion, architecture, sports and food together to create thought-provoking discussions.
Grey Goose, distilled and bottled in France, is the fourth-largest vodka brand in the U.S., with 5.1% dollar market share, according to SymphonyIRI, which excludes Walmart and liquor stores. Sales grew by 1.5% in the year ending Feb. 19, underperforming the vodka category, which grew by 6.7%, according to SymphonyIRI. Bacardi spent $14.8 million in measured media on Grey Goosein the U.S. in 2011, according to Kantar Media. Diageo-owned Smirnoff leads the vodka category with 20.6% share.
The first quarter has been fruitful for Mullen from a new-business standpoint. Grey Goose follows other wins in the past couple of months, including Benjamin Moore paint, U.S. Cellular and the National Geographic Channels.