BBH wins Smirnoff Ice in US as global review goes on

LONDON - Bartle Bogle Hegarty has been named as the agency of record for Smirnoff Ice in the US, but the global review of the brand's advertising account will continue, with a decision expected by the end of the year.

BBH has been pitching against incumbent J Walter Thompson and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO for the global Smirnoff Ice account. The global review kicked off in August.

While that review continues, BBH will be handling advertising for the brand in the US and JWT continues as agency of record in the UK and across the globe.

James Thompson, president of global and US marketing for Smirnoff, said: "This decision is based on the outstanding creative that was presented for this market."

JWT has been the global agency of record since Smirnoff Ice launched in 1999. Diageo stressed that the review of the account did not affect the agency's hold on the main Smirnoff vodka brand.

Diageo said that a decision on the global Smirnoff Ice account would be reached by the end of this year.

Smirnoff Ice led the way for brand spin-off drinks. While the UK and European of Smirnoff Ice is based on vodka, which gives the drink its name, in the US the drink is actually a malt beverage as part of an effort to get around US advertising rules, where there is a voluntary ban on major networks carrying ads for hard liquor.

BBH also works on the Diageo brands Baileys and Johnnie Walker whisky, while Abbott Mead Vickers creates advertising for Guinness.

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