CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK; IDV golfer who enjoys a tipple

Harriet Green talks to the marketer who is drinking in a successful first TV ad

Harriet Green talks to the marketer who is drinking in a successful

first TV ad

Mixing drinks gives most of us a headache, but for Jonathan Stordy, a

cocktail of Smirnoff, Drambuie, Gonzales-Byass and Croft couldn’t be

more delightful.

As the marketing controller in charge of these brands at International

Distillers and Vintners, he oversaw the first TV advertising for

Smirnoff Black, which broke last week.

Lowe Howard-Spink’s epic ad underlines the drink’s heritage as the

tipple of Czars. (Topical product placement also sees Robbie Coltrane’s

Russian villain downing Smirnoff Black in the new Bond film, Goldeneye.)

Stordy, 33, is passionate about Smirnoff Black’s Russian ancestry and

insists it should be knocked back correctly. ‘It should be drunk neat

and straight out of the freezer,’ he enthuses.

Raised in Italy, Stordy read Spanish and Business Studies at Edinburgh

University. Then he landed a job at Unilever Export, marketing

toothpaste to Ecuador. Three years later he crossed over to Elida Gibbs,

specialising on Sunsilk, before leaving for IDV in 1990. ‘Unilever is a

great company,’ he says. ‘But as a type, I am better suited to a faster

and more entrepreneurial organisation.’

With IDV, he toured Spain as marketing manager for J&B, educating the

market. In 1994 he landed his current portfolio and immersed himself in

it with visits to Jerez (the home of sherry), Russian restaurants and

vodka bars. ‘You end up enjoying your brands a lot. And we get a wine

allowance to ‘champion the brands’.’

Stordy is an admirer of IDV’s non-bureaucratic working practices: ‘IDV

really believes in its major brands and spends heavily on them. It

believes in excellent advertising and fast innovation.’ But he’s a

prudent client: ‘When you’re investing large sums, you have to be very

careful how every penny is spent,’ he insists.

Outside work, this champion of Black isn’t bad on the greens. His golf

handicap has slipped - he was nearly a pro - but still stands at a

pretty impressive five. He lives with his wife, a barrister, and 18-

month-old son in Chiswick.