Leo Burnett has won the global creative account for Jim Beam after a competitive review that began in September.
A Beam Suntory spokesman on Monday night confirmed the Publicis Groupe shop's selection but did not provide further comment. Other agencies believed to be involved in the pitch were DDB and McCann.
The review comes after the liquor marketer earlier this year tapped former Coca-Cola Co. executive Rebecca Messina as its new senior VP-global chief marketing officer. Because DDB North America CEO Wendy Clark is also a former Coke executive, there was some speculation in ad industry circles that DDB might have an advantage. But Leo Burnett came out on top in the end.
It is a notable win for Leo Burnett, giving the agency some momentum in an otherwise difficult year, including the loss of the McDonald's U.S. creative account in August. Leo Burnett's headquarters are in Chicago, within an easy walk to Beam Suntory's new global headquarters office in Chicago's Merchandise Mart building. The liquor marketer recently re-located to the city from a Chicago suburb.
Jim Beam had been working with StoryWorks, a consortium of agencies from three countries. It comprised Mekanism from the U.S., The Works from Australia and Jung von Matt of Germany. Mekanism did not participate in the review.
Beam Suntory spent $27 million on measured media on Jim Beam in the U.S. in 2015, according to Kantar Media. Since 2014, the brand has been running a global campaign called "Make History" starring Mila Kunis. Significant changes are likely on the horizon.