Spirits advertisers are planning a massive hike in TV adspend in the
pre-Christmas period following the ending of the 40-year moratorium last
United Distillers, which was the first company to defy the voluntary
ban, claims advertising awareness tripled for its market-leading whisky
brand, Bell’s, after TV ad trials last year. United Distillers is now
set to almost treble its expenditure on TV to pounds 9 million this
year, with pounds 3.6 million earmarked for the national pre-Christmas
At the same time, Westbay’s Bacardi brand is switching nearly pounds 4
million of its poster spend to TV this season to support new work
In addition, International Distillers and Vintners is planning to take
its leading vodka brand, Smirnoff Red, on to TV for the first time as it
increases its total TV spend by 20 per cent year on year to pounds 1.2
Highland Distillers, which spent around pounds 2 million on print
campaigns for Famous Grouse last year, is also expected to take the
brand on to TV for the first time.
However, Highland refused to confirm or deny this.
United Distillers’ marketing director, Andy Neal, said no new executions
were planned for Bell’s and Gordon’s gin because the campaigns, which
were tested regionally last year, had not been seen nationally.
IDV took its Smirnoff Black, Bailey’s, Malibu and Archer’s peach
schnapps brands on to TV last year. This year, as well as Smirnoff Red,
it plans to try its Sheridans brand on TV, according to the marketing
director, Tony Scouller.
The group is likely to develop a new ad for Smirnoff Red because its
striking ‘through the bottle’ cinema campaign through Lowe Howard-Spink
is understood to have already been rejected by the television
The loss of revenue for the press and poster industries has long been
Media Monitoring Services figures show outdoor’s share of the wines and
spirits sector slipped from 20 per cent to 12 per cent during the first
half of 1996. Press spend fell from 41 per cent to 22 per cent, while TV
nearly doubled from 22 per cent to 42 per cent.