The appointment follows a two-way pitch that included AIM/ Carat. The original pitch line-up also included WPP Group's MindShare, McConnells MCM and Zenith Media Services. Zenith is jointly owned by Saatchi & Saatchi and Cordiant Communications Group. Diageo brought in Media Audits to evaluate the various pitches.
Diegeo's decision will have a negative impact on AIM/Carat's operations. The agency held part of Diageo's total account, which represented one third of its annual revenues, or $15 million.
The selection of Initiative Media will allow Diageo to concentrate media buying for all brands at one agency. Previously, different brands had their own media buyers.
Brands included in the Diageo account include Guinness, Baileys, Finches and Smirnoff. Initiative Media's other clients include home mortgage company Irish Permanent, Johnson & Johnson and Ferrero.
Copyright October 1999, Crain Communications Inc.