Ireland's Bailey to launch new Irish whiskey brand globally

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DUBLIN -- R&A Bailey, the Dublin-based marketer of Bailey's Irish Cream, confirms that it's in an "advanced stage" in the development of a new Irish whiskey brand, slated for a global market launch, initially in Ireland, during the first half of 1998.

R&A Bailey, a subsidiary of Grand Metropolitan, is in discussions with Irish Distillers and Cooley Distillery about supplying whiskey of various vintages for the proposed new blended product. R&A Bailey is testing various formulas for the blend of whiskey, which consumer research indicated would capture a premium share of the market.

The new whiskey brand will first be test marketed in Ireland, before an official global launch in the second half of the year. It is expected that the Bailey's brand name will be incorporated into the name of the unnamed whiskey brand.

No decision has been announced on advertising. Lowe Howard-Spink handles the global advertising account for Bailey's Irish Cream, the world's best selling liqueur.

R&A Bailey marketed the Jameson Redbreast whiskey brand until the mid-1970s, when the company's attention became focused on the launch of their cream liqueur. Since then, the Pernod Ricard-owned Irish Distillers, which supplies the whiskey for Bailey's Irish Cream, has purchased the Redbreast brand and relaunched it as part of the Jameson portfolio.

Copyright November 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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