PUBLICIS WINS ALLIED DOMECQ GLOBAL ACCOUNT

London, New York, San Francisco Offices to Handle

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BOSTON (AdAge.com) -- Allied Domecq has selected Publicis Groupe to handle its worldwide advertising account for its Kahlua, Beefeater and Stolichnaya brands.

The account had been estimated at more than $100 million, though because the company is aiming toward more nontraditional advertising, that figure is expected to drop.

Publicis' London division will handle global advertising, while its San Francisco office will lead domestic responsibilities, supported by New York, the company said. Advertising breaks later this year. The three brands received a combined $25 million in U.S. measured media last year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

Publicis beat out an undisclosed number of agencies in an internal review, a spokesman said.

Network coverage
"We found them to be

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the best partner for these brands due to their network coverage [and] in the management and creative flair that the Publicis network can bring," said Kim Manley, chief marketing officer.

Creative had been at Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, Chicago, until earlier this summer, when the world's No. 2 spirits company decided to pursue a more nontraditional advertising bent rather than one that relied so heavily on creative.

Cognac, tequila
Still uncertain is what will happen with its Courvoissier cognac and Sauza tequila brands, which currently are being handled by Interpublic Group of Cos.' dRush. DRush is closing for lack of business, though it will handle the Allied account for a couple of months until it transitions to another agency.

Mr. Manley, however, has said he wants to maintain the business relationship with dRush's co-founder, the hip-hop music impresario Russell Simmons.

Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine, Allied's U.S. operation, is based in Westport, Conn.

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