Bacardi seeks shop for global task

Bacardi, the wines and spirits giant, is looking for an agency to create a global campaign for its main Bacardi Carta Blanca brand.

It is in the process of drawing up a shortlist of agencies from its key markets, including the US, the UK and Europe. While the pitch is expected primarily to involve roster agencies, off-roster shops are also being considered.

The move is a threat to McCann Erickson's tenure on the account in the UK and Spain; a global campaign would replace local work. The incumbent in the US is the independent agency David & Goliath. The pitch is being run by Bacardi's global brand team, whose UK base is in Weybridge.

The global campaign idea was first considered last year, when Bacardi looked for a single campaign for its Bacardi Breezer range. However, global advertising campaigns for spirits brands are a rare commodity because of the plethora of regulations the work has to satisfy. Regulations in France are much tighter than those in South America, for example.

However, the Vinnie Jones spot devised by McCann for use in the UK did appear in other markets. McCann's latest work for the brand, starring the Italian actor Raoul Bova, broke at the beginning of June and continues the "welcome to the Latin quarter" theme.

Sales of the brand have been rising in recent years. In 1998, sales were $2.4 billion, while in 2003 they reached £3 billion. It sells about 200 million bottles of the spirit annually across almost 200 countries.

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