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(July 26, 2001) -- A handful of media agencies this week have sent in their responses to a request for proposals sent out by Diageo, which is reviewing its estimated $150 million consolidated U.S. media buying and planning business for its spirits and beer brands.

Diageo's United Distillers & Vintners, Seagram and Guiness Brewing brands are in the review, which has been expected since 1998, when the London-based food marketer acquired Guinness.

According to advertising executives, agencies in the review include WPP Group's MindShare, Grey Global Group's MediaCom, CIA Medianetwork and Bcom3 Group's MediaVest Worldwide.

The review is being led by the London offices of Diageo and is being ramped up in expectation of the August arrival of Kester Fielding, a former Coca-Cola marketing executive in the U.K. who will become head of Diageo's media procurement division.

One executive said the Diageo request, which is as "thick as a telephone book," seeks information about billings, research, tools, planning and buying. -- Richard Linnett

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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