Ben Mark Orlando wins Bacardi roster place for launch

LONDON - Ben Mark Orlando, the start-up launched by Ben Langdon, Mark Wnek and Orlando Hooper-Greenhill, has been appointed to handle two projects for Bacardi.

The first is for a launch, believed to be a cream liqueur variant of the rum drink, and the second is for a new Bacardi Breezer spin-off called Twist. It beat presentations from Bacardi's main agency, McCann-Erickson, to secure the briefs.

This is the first confirmed client for the agency, which launched at the beginning of the year. Langdon said: "We are delighted to be working with a client of such calibre as Bacardi, especially as our founding client."

The new agency had been expected to pick up business from Bacardi because of the drinks giant's relationship with Langdon. He worked on Bacardi for 11 years before being forced out of McCann last year.

However, Rupert Howell, the chairman of McCann, defended the agency's position on the account, saying that McCann was continuing to work closely with Bacardi. "We have a highly acclaimed Bacardi Breezer commercial that is running in the UK and is slated to run elsewhere in Europe," Howell said. "We are in pre-production on a new Bacardi Rum campaign.

"We have been very busy on the Bacardi account and have no knowledge of what they may or may not be doing with other agencies."

McCann struggled to find a replacement for its popular "Tom cat" campaign for Bacardi Breezer, but is now airing a spot called "a new boss".

The agency is also thought to be looking for a new face to front Bacardi's advertising, to replace the actor Vinnie Jones. Benicio del Toro, the star of 'The Usual Suspects', 'Snatch' and 'Traffic', was said to be in the frame for the role.

Bacardi refused to comment on the appointment.

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