Bacardi drops McCann in U.K.

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[London] Bacardi-Martini continues to hire and fire agencies in Europe despite an ongoing global brand review. The company has split with Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, London, and is inviting local agencies to pitch for its $19 million U.K. account. The 10-year relationship ended after neither party was able to agree on a successor to the long-running "Welcome to the Latin Quarter" campaign. A joint statement said the split will not affect McCann Erickson, New York's chances in Bacardi's ongoing pitch for a global branding campaign. The agency is up against other international shops including Omnicom's DDB, London. Nor does the U.K. move affect McCann's tenure in 11 other European markets, or business in Asia and most of Latin America.

But Bacardi-Martini did appoint Leagas Delaney to create a pan-European campaign for Eristoff, an upmarket vodka brand that is strong in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal that has received only low-key local marketing until now.

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