Ogilvy and Mather has fought off a full-scale assault on its
pounds 3 million Guinness Draught Bitter account after facing a
challenge from fellow Guinness roster agency, Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper.
Guinness kicked off the review in September and asked both agencies to
present creative ideas.
The review also came two months after Guinness and O&M, which has
handled Guinness’s main stout brand since 1984, fell under the media
spotlight when news of a commercial directed by Tony Kaye featuring a
gay couple leaked to the press. The ad was subsequently axed.
Guinness Brewing GB’s former marketing director, Rob MacNevin, handled
the initial stages of the pitch. However, last month he took on the new
role of commercial director for Guinness Europe and was replaced by
Julian Spooner, who joined from the UK-based German management
consultancy, Gruber Titze and Partners.
In a statement, Spooner said: ‘Both agencies presented excellent ideas,
but O&M was slightly more in line with our thinking. It has produced
excellent work on some of our key brands in the past and its latest
presentation leaves us in no doubt that it will continue to do so in the
Tom Bury, O&M’s managing director, commented: ‘If one of your own pieces
of business goes up for pitch you can only stand to lose. Our
relationship with Guinness has been under the spotlight since the
tabloids moved in on the so-called gay ad.
‘It’s when you go through a bumpy patch with a client that you emerge
much stronger. We won this business absolutely on merit.’
Guinness said that it decided to hold a pitch because ‘the time was
right to look at the product’s positioning and future development’.
Guinness Draught Bitter launched in March 1991 and rolled out nationally
in March 1992.
In September, Euro RSCG was awarded the launch of Kilkenny, Guinness’s
rival to Caffrey’s, the Bass brand.