Bacardi seeks agency for £90m global brief

Bacardi Martini is hunting for a single agency to run its £90 million Bacardi rum creative account on a global basis.

The review, which was called by Bacardi Martini's US head office in Miami, looks to realign the spirit as an international brand. It comes at a time when the drinks manufacturer is attempting to reverse a decline in global sales.

AAR Partners in New York is managing the review process. The brief sent out to agencies in the UK and the US calls for a campaign that will "increase the level of affinity consumers feel towards the brand". Media planning and buying remain unaffected by the review.

In August 2004, Bacardi Martini issued a £38 million brief to agencies to create a global campaign for its main Bacardi rum brand.

Six months later, after no award was made, it appointed Fallon to the £10 million UK account. This brought to an end its ten-year relationship with McCann Erickson, after the agency failed to come up with an alternative to its long-running "welcome to the Latin quarter" strategy.

Bacardi Martini's decision to review the creative account comes as a blow to Fallon, which is understood to have signed off new creative for the spirit brand. This is due to air in the UK in the autumn.

Bacardi's incumbent agencies, including Fallon in the UK, David and Goliath in the US and McCann Erickson in a number of international markets, are expected to repitch.

Neither Fallon nor Bacardi Martini would comment on the review.

- Comment, page 44.

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