Fallon wins Bacardi's £10m UK advertising account

LONDON - Fallon is poised to take the £10 million Bacardi UK advertising account after Campbell Doyle Dye was told yesterday that it has been unsuccessful in the pitch.

Fallon and CDD were the final two agencies competing for the business after Quiet Storm and St Luke's were ruled out at an earlier stage.
Bacardi Martini has not yet agreed terms with Fallon, but is expected to make the arrangement formal after meetings with the agency over the next fortnight.

However, Maurice Doyle, the Bacardi Martini UK commercial director, said: "The process to find a new agency is lengthy and needs to be carefully considered. We are continuing to work with Fallon throughout the pitch process but it is too premature to confirm an appointed agency at this stage." Fallon refused to comment.

Bacardi Martini severed its ten-year relationship with McCann Erickson in November 2004 after the agency failed to come up with an
alternative strategy to its "Welcome to the Latin Quarter" idea.

The decision followed a year of tension between the client and agency - the advertiser had been close to Ben Langdon, McCann Erickson's former chairman, and Chris Hunton, its former chief executive.

The troubled drinks manufacturer saw its international net profit fall by 21 per cent last year to $331 million. It has been searching for a new
creative strategy to pre-empt the forthcoming regulations being drawn up by Ofcom, which are expected to place stiff restrictions on advertising for drinks brands. One likely ban will be on associating alcohol with partying.

McCann's most recent work for Bacardi was "platform", starring Raoul Bova partying at a train station. The brand's previous spokesman was Vinnie Jones, who parted company with Bacardi after his conviction for a so-called air-rage attack in 2003.

Campbell Doyle Dye's failure to secure the £10 million Bacardi account has raised questions about the future direction of the agency.

CDD opened with Omnicom's backing, including the BBDO-aligned Mercedes  account, in 2001. Four years on and the agency has failed to grow, although it is said  to have moved into the black this year. Its only major retained client remains Mercedes, worth £17 million.

As speculation mounts about CDD's future viability, it is feasible that Omnicom could shift Mercedes into one of its other agencies, most likely Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. Peter Mead, the chairman of Omnicom Europe, denied Omnicom was considering folding CDD into AMV.

Although Omnicom and CDD are business partners, Mead said CDD was a private company in charge of its own destiny.

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