JWT wins new accounts and a place on IDV's roster

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LONDON -- IDV (International Distillers Vintners) has consolidated with J. Walter Thompson Co. the global advertising accounts for J&B Whisky and the Italian vermouth brand Cinzano. Young & Rubicam retains the J&B account in Spain, one of the brand's most successful markets. Combined, the two brands have estimated global billings of $40m.

Previously, IDV used a large number of agencies to service the two brands globally. Agencies on the old J&B roster include Young & Rubicam (the U.K., South America), Lowe Group (U.S., parts of Europe) and McCann-Erickson (parts of Asia Pacific). Y&R held the Cinzano account in the U.K. JWT had no previous relationships with IDV. "We came from nowhere," says Miles Colebrook, group president of JWT International.

According to IDV, J&B is the world's second largest brand of scotch whisky and leads several markets around the world. JWT will handle the international development of a new campaign concept and service the brand in due course as the campaign theme unfolds in international markets, except Spain.

Richard Watling, chief executive of IDV subsidiary Justerini & Brooks, says: "The launch of a worldwide advertising idea will be a new venture for J&B and we are excited by the prospects of developing it in our key markets."

Cinzano is the world's second largest brand of vermouth and is a leading producer of sparkling wines. The brand has strong positions in key markets in western and central Europe and Latin America. It has had recent success with the new brand Fresco in the light alcoholic drinks sector. Cinzano Managing Director Richard Ambler says of the consolidation: "We are also delighted to harness the power of JWT's strong creative reputation to the global potential of Cinzano as the brand evolves from its traditional past into the exciting potential offered by the strong growth in light alcoholic drinks worldwide."

This isn't the first time IDV has consolidated a brand globally. London- based Lowe Howard-Spink won the global account for Bailey's Irish Cream, the world's best selling liqueur, in August 1996. Lowe also handles IDV's Malibu rum and Smirnoff vodka on a worldwide basis.

IDV is the spirits arm of Grand Metropolitan, which is merging with Guinness to form a new company to be named Diageo.

Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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