Agencies compete for Freixenet ad account

Freixenet, the UK's bestselling sparkling wine producer, has approached agencies ahead of a pitch for its UK advertising account.

Freixenet: Shakira has appeared in Christmas campaign
Freixenet: Shakira has appeared in Christmas campaign

The wine brand has approached agencies directly, inviting them to pitch for the business. It follows an aborted approach earlier this year.

Leo Burnett has previously handled its UK creative, but in the past few years Freixenet has worked with Spanish agencies.

JWT Barcelona produced a new global positioning in 2010 that highlighted the brand's Mediterranean heritage, using the straplines "Wonderfully unexpected" and "Barcelona since 1861".

Freixenet is known in Spain for its annual Christmas TV campaign that stars a different celebrity each year. The singer Shakira and the actors Antonio Banderas and Sharon Stone have all featured in the seasonal spots for the wine-maker. In the UK, its advertising has mostly focused on press ads.

In August 2011, Freixenet put its media planning and buying business in key global markets, including the UK, up for pitch.

Freixenet is the top-selling sparkling wine brand in the off-trade, according to Mintel data, with sales of £34 million in 2011 and a 9 per cent market share. The brand has benefited from the strong performance of Cava as consumers traded down from Champagne. Its brands include Cordon Negro Cava and Ash Tree Estate wine.