MediaVest is understood to have won the pounds 3 million Southern
Comfort media planning and buying after a two-way pitch against Western
According to media owner sources, MediaVest has started work on booking
campaigns for the Southern Comfort brand, which is owned by Brown-Forman
but marketed and distributed in the UK market by IDV.
Media for the Southern Comfort account was previously handled by the
full-service agency, Court Burkitt and Company. Burkitts had held both
the creative and media business for the brand, but lost its hold on the
creative account last summer when the pan-European business moved into
It emerged at the time that Burkitts was due to relinquish its hold on
the media account by 1 February this year.
MediaVest, DMB&B’s sister media shop, and Western, which handles media
for Brown-Forman’s Jack Daniels brand, were both in the frame for the
media planning and buying business.
However, media owners confirmed this week that MediaVest has already
held conversations about the next round of advertising activity for the
The decision to award the Southern Comfort account to MediaVest is seen
as a move by Brown-Forman to take closer control of its advertising as
IDV undergoes a radical transformation.
As part of the new Diageo conglomerate, the result of the merger between
Grand Metropolitan and Guinness, Grand Met’s IDV is now expected to
merge its marketing activities with the Guinness-owned United Distillers
under a new umbrella company, to be called UDV.
Brown-Forman has also been looking for a more strategic pan-European
approach to its advertising and, following its appointment of DMB&B
across Europe, is now expected to streamline media arrangements.
However, speculation that the Jack Daniels media account is also being
reviewed has frequently been denied.
No-one at Brown-Forman was available and Mediavest refused to comment on
the move as Campaign went to press.