Absolut Vodka Appoints BBH London as Global Lead

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Pernod Ricard has appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty London as lead creative global agency for Absolut Vodka, following a competitive pitch.

BBH has been charged with giving a creative and strategic boost to the #AbsolutNights campaign, originated by agency Sid Lee. Sid Lee has handled the business for the past four years but did not repitch.

Craig Johnson, marketing VP of Absolut, said in a statement, "We are thrilled to have the creative and strategic talents of BBH join the Absolut family as we bring to life the next evolution of the #AbsolutNights campaign. We are confident that the approach BBH demonstrated through the pitch process will extend our legacy of bold marketing that made Absolut one of the world's most known and loved brands."

BBH London lost the global Johnnie Walker business to Anomaly two years ago, having handled the world's number one spirits brand for 15 years. Two other Diageo brands, Baileys and Gordon's, parted company with BBH last year, leaving the agency without a spirits brand on its books.

Pernod Ricard claims that Absolut Vodka is the fifth largest spirits brand in the world. Its biggest market is the U.S., followed by Canada, Germany, Brazil, Spain, the U.K., Mexico and France.

The win will come as a boost to BBH, which has been going through a lot of upheaval recently.

The London office saw the departure of five key executives in the space of four months earlier this year: managing director Mel Exon, deputy executive creative directors Rosie Arnold and Caroline Pay, and joint chief strategy officers Jonathan Bottomley and Jason Gonsalves. In New York, BBH's North America CEO Pat Lafferty and New York chief creative officer Ari Weiss recently announced their departures.

Adam Arnold, managing director of BBH London, said in a statement, "We are deeply proud to be partnering with such an iconic brand. Our ambition is to live up to its rich advertising heritage and at the same time make the brand meaningful to a whole new generation of drinkers. Creative opportunities do not come bigger or better than Absolut."