Pernod reviews global media

Pernod Ricard, the wine and spirits giant, is reviewing its estimated £100 million global media planning and buying business.

The drinks company is looking to consolidate its business across almost 50 markets into one global network.

This follows Pernod Ricard's £7.4 billion acquisition of Allied Domecq in July.

Pernod Ricard is said to have held early talks with networks about the pitch. Media Planning Group is the incumbent agency on Pernod Ricard and ZenithOptimedia is the incumbent on Allied Domecq.

Both are expected to pitch for the business.

Brands owned by the merged company include Malibu, Jacob's Creek, Beefeater gin and Jameson whiskey.

Allied Domecq spends £5.3 million in the UK, according to Nielsen Media Research, with the bulk of the spend, some £3 million, on Malibu. Pernod Ricard spends around £1 million on Jameson, the whisky brand Glenlivet and on Martell cognac.

MPG worked on Pernod's media business for several years following its merger with Havas' Mediapolis, which previously held the account.

ZenithOptimedia has handled global media for Allied Domecq since the merger of Zenith Media and Optimedia in 2001. Before this, Zenith handled media planning and buying for Allied Domecq in the US and Optimedia looked after Allied's £30 million pan-European business following a global review in 1997.

The deal between Pernod and Allied Domecq, the world's second- and third-largest spirit manufacturers after Diageo, was cleared by the competition authorities in Europe and the US in July. Outside the US, Pernod Ricard is the number-one alcohol supplier.

As part of the conditions of the deal, Pernod is disposing of some Allied Domecq assets. Its Dunkin' Donuts chain is up for sale and Courvoisier has been sold to Fortune Brands. Sauza tequila and Bushmills whiskey are also set to be sold.

Pernod had looked likely to face a rival bid for Allied from the wine-maker Constellation but it dropped out of the running a month before Pernod finalised the acquisition.

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