O&M to fight three as Guinness calls review

Ogilvy & Mather is battling to retain its pounds 12 million Draught Guinness business following the brewing giant’s decision to axe the ill-fated ’black-and-white’ campaign and put the account up for review.

Ogilvy & Mather is battling to retain its pounds 12 million Draught

Guinness business following the brewing giant’s decision to axe the

ill-fated ’black-and-white’ campaign and put the account up for

review.



O&M, which has handled Guinness for 12 years, will pitch in five weeks’

time against TBWA Simons Palmer, HHCL & Partners and Abbott Mead Vickers

BBDO. AMV has withdrawn from the Tetley Bitter pitch to free itself for

the Guinness contest. A decision is expected swiftly.



HHCL, which handles the brand in Ireland, is the only Guinness roster

agency on the list. However, AMV also has connections with Guinness:

Michael Baulk, the agency’s chief executive, and Peter Warren, a board

director, led the successful ’pure genius’ pitch in 1985 while they

worked at O&M.



Relations between O&M and Guinness have been strained ever since the

’black-and-white’ campaign launched in 1996. Even before the campaign

broke, pre-publicity about the infamous ’gay kiss’ ad, which Guinness

refused to admit existed, undermined the company’s faith in O&M. The

scandal angered Tony Greener, Guinness’s chairman, who had originally

given the go-ahead for ’black and white’. This month, Greener was forced

to apologise to the chairman of British Energy over ads showing a

two-headed fish alongside a quote stating nuclear power was safe.



Julian Spooner, Guinness’s marketing director who is leading the pitch,

believes that, while the Draught Guinness brand is increasing its market

share, an opportunity exists to accelerate this growth. He said: ’The

’black-and-white’ campaign has run its course. We have therefore asked

three agencies and the incumbent to develop a new strategy and

creative.’



Tom Bury, O&M’s deputy chairman, said: ’I joined O&M to work on Guinness

and I won’t see it going elsewhere. We feel we have done successful

advertising for the brand over past 12 years and we can do it for

another 12.’



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