At least nine agencies will be battling for a slice of the pounds
55 million combined Guinness/Grand Metropolitan advertising business if
the merger of the drinks giants gets the go-ahead.
The proposed merger will create the world’s largest wines and spirits
outfit, valued at pounds 24 billion, and the eighth- largest company in
The new group - GMG Brands - will comprise four divisions: UDV (merging
Guinness’s United Distillers and GrandMet’s IDV businesses); Pillsbury
(from the GrandMet stable); Burger King (also part of GrandMet) and
The merger will undoubt-edly result in the rationalisation of the
companies’ advertising rosters.
Creative incumbents include Lowe Howard-Spink, which works on some
Pillsbury business and alongside Court Burkitt and Company on IDV; Leo
Burnett, which works on Pillsbury and alongside St Luke’s and WCRS on
UD; and Ogilvy and Mather and Publicis, which work with Guinness. Burger
King’s creative account is handled by Ammirati Puris Lintas while Euro
RSCG Wnek Gosper has just picked up the pounds 12 million pan-European
A creative agency shake-up is expected to focus on the wines and spirits
brands, which are set to come together under a new marketing operation
within the UDV division.
On the media side, some centralisations are expected. Western
International Media works with IDV as well as Pillsbury and Leo
Burnett’s media department also works on Pillsbury. Zenith Media handles
Burger King’s media buying, while TMD Carat has the centralised UD media
business. Guinness’s media account is handled by the Network and
Haagen-Dazs by Motive.
A shootout involving Western and TMD is likely for the combined UD/IDV
media account, which would be worth around pounds 30 million. Guinness
is understood to have thought about centralising its media for the
Guinness and IDV brands, and a full pooling of Guinness and the new UDV
media businesses is a possibility.