AMV Advance rebrands and wins E&J Gallo's £26m global ad task

AMV Advance, the BDDO network's integrated specialist in the UK, is relaunching as Minerva and has won the global ad brief for the winemaker E&J Gallo.

The decision to rebrand AMV Advance is in line with BBDO's efforts to give the agency a clear identity and turn it into a key player in the second-string European network it is currently building from its "partner" agencies.

Michael Baulk, BBDO's European chairman, said: "This initiative is part of our strategy of growing our business in a difficult climate."

Steve Carrigan, AMV Advance's managing director, becomes the chief executive of Minerva.

The £26 million Gallo creative account moves across from Mountain View along with David Barker, one of its founding partners, who has been responsible for the creative development of the Gallo brand for a number of years.

Barker will lead an enlarged worldwide team on the business at the new agency, while Mountain View continues to provide strategic advice and brand planning support.

The arrangement follows talks between AMV Advance and Mountain View over how Gallo's advertising ambitions could best be served, given that Mountain View's core business is brand consultancy.

The worldwide Gallo account will be co-ordinated out of London, with the BBDO West agency in San Francisco running activity in the North American market. Other BBDO shops in Germany and Holland will help fuel Gallo's expansion into mainland Europe. Media arrangements, handled on a local basis, are unaffected.

AMV Advance, formed originally to service local advertising needs for Sainsbury's, now has a client list that also includes DaimlerChrysler, Masterfoods, Pizza Hut and Mothercare.

BBDO chiefs calculate that the new business will give the agency a top 40 ranking and expect it to achieve top 20 status within the next few years.

Carrigan said: "Our name was great at the beginning but Minerva signals we are very much a complementary agency to AMV BBDO."