Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi have been invited to pitch for the global Guinness account, worth pounds 230 million. The news throws Saatchis' commitment to its Tetley business, worth pounds 17 million in the UK, into question.
AMV handles the pounds 20.6 million UK account, while Saatchis has the account in Africa and the Caribbean. A decision is expected by the end of the year.
Saatchis handles Carlsberg, Carlsberg Tetley and Castlemaine XXXX in the UK. The agency also holds the Becks account in Germany and North America, worth an estimated dollars 40 million. Meanwhile, AMV, which created the multi-award-winning 'surfer' ad for Guinness in the UK, holds the Lion Nathan brand in Asia Pacific.
Guinness's four remaining worldwide roster agencies will not pitch.
HHCL & Partners will lose the account in Ireland, as well as Bottled Guinness in the UK, Frohling Werbeagentur loses out in Germany and Weiss, Stagliano & Partners loses out in the US and Canada. The review is the final nail in the coffin for Ogilvy & Mather's 14-year relationship with Guinness - it is dropped from Singapore and Malaysia, its last chunk of Guinness work since losing the UK account to AMV in 1998.
The review will include Guinness Draught, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Guinness Original.
Jon Potter, the global brand director for Guinness, will lead the pitch.
A statement explains that he will look for strong planning credentials, experience of global brand building and a strong international network.
Potter said selecting a single global creative agency would result in groundbreaking advertising in all markets, not just two or three.
He added: 'Given the global diversity of the Guinness brand in terms of geography and format, this move will not necessarily lead to a single creative execution globally. If, over time, we are convinced that there is the opportunity to do this, naturally we would consider it.'