NEWS: Spirits advertisers set for major TV offensive

Spirits advertisers are planning a massive hike in TV adspend in the pre-Christmas period following the ending of the 40-year moratorium last year.

Spirits advertisers are planning a massive hike in TV adspend in the

pre-Christmas period following the ending of the 40-year moratorium last

year.



United Distillers, which was the first company to defy the voluntary

ban, claims advertising awareness tripled for its market-leading whisky

brand, Bell’s, after TV ad trials last year. United Distillers is now

set to almost treble its expenditure on TV to pounds 9 million this

year, with pounds 3.6 million earmarked for the national pre-Christmas

drive.



At the same time, Westbay’s Bacardi brand is switching nearly pounds 4

million of its poster spend to TV this season to support new work

through McCann-Erickson.



In addition, International Distillers and Vintners is planning to take

its leading vodka brand, Smirnoff Red, on to TV for the first time as it

increases its total TV spend by 20 per cent year on year to pounds 1.2

million.



Highland Distillers, which spent around pounds 2 million on print

campaigns for Famous Grouse last year, is also expected to take the

brand on to TV for the first time.



However, Highland refused to confirm or deny this.



United Distillers’ marketing director, Andy Neal, said no new executions

were planned for Bell’s and Gordon’s gin because the campaigns, which

were tested regionally last year, had not been seen nationally.



IDV took its Smirnoff Black, Bailey’s, Malibu and Archer’s peach

schnapps brands on to TV last year. This year, as well as Smirnoff Red,

it plans to try its Sheridans brand on TV, according to the marketing

director, Tony Scouller.



The group is likely to develop a new ad for Smirnoff Red because its

striking ‘through the bottle’ cinema campaign through Lowe Howard-Spink

is understood to have already been rejected by the television

authorities.



The loss of revenue for the press and poster industries has long been

expected.



Media Monitoring Services figures show outdoor’s share of the wines and

spirits sector slipped from 20 per cent to 12 per cent during the first

half of 1996. Press spend fell from 41 per cent to 22 per cent, while TV

nearly doubled from 22 per cent to 42 per cent.



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