Roster agencies await GMG Brands’ ad plans

At least nine agencies will be battling for a slice of the pounds 55 million combined Guinness/Grand Metropolitan advertising business if the merger of the drinks giants gets the go-ahead.

At least nine agencies will be battling for a slice of the pounds

55 million combined Guinness/Grand Metropolitan advertising business if

the merger of the drinks giants gets the go-ahead.



The proposed merger will create the world’s largest wines and spirits

outfit, valued at pounds 24 billion, and the eighth- largest company in

the UK.



The new group - GMG Brands - will comprise four divisions: UDV (merging

Guinness’s United Distillers and GrandMet’s IDV businesses); Pillsbury

(from the GrandMet stable); Burger King (also part of GrandMet) and

Guinness.



The merger will undoubt-edly result in the rationalisation of the

companies’ advertising rosters.



Creative incumbents include Lowe Howard-Spink, which works on some

Pillsbury business and alongside Court Burkitt and Company on IDV; Leo

Burnett, which works on Pillsbury and alongside St Luke’s and WCRS on

UD; and Ogilvy and Mather and Publicis, which work with Guinness. Burger

King’s creative account is handled by Ammirati Puris Lintas while Euro

RSCG Wnek Gosper has just picked up the pounds 12 million pan-European

Haagen-Dazs account.



A creative agency shake-up is expected to focus on the wines and spirits

brands, which are set to come together under a new marketing operation

within the UDV division.



On the media side, some centralisations are expected. Western

International Media works with IDV as well as Pillsbury and Leo

Burnett’s media department also works on Pillsbury. Zenith Media handles

Burger King’s media buying, while TMD Carat has the centralised UD media

business. Guinness’s media account is handled by the Network and

Haagen-Dazs by Motive.



A shootout involving Western and TMD is likely for the combined UD/IDV

media account, which would be worth around pounds 30 million. Guinness

is understood to have thought about centralising its media for the

Guinness and IDV brands, and a full pooling of Guinness and the new UDV

media businesses is a possibility.