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William Grant Seeks Global Brand PR Support
Arun Sudhaman
Holmes Report
President/Editor-in-Chief

William Grant Seeks Global Brand PR Support

Spirits group rethinks PR agency roster for key brands after parting ways with Steely Fox.

Arun Sudhaman

William Grant Seeks Global Brand PR Support

LONDON—Spirits group William Grant & Sons is seeking new PR agency support for a global brief that covers key brands including Hendrick's and Balvenie.

The Holmes Report understands that the family-owned Scottish company has seen a number of PR firms in London regarding the six-figure brief, after choosing to part ways with seven-year incumbent Steely Fox.

It is thought that the assignment focuses on Hendrick's and Balvenie, the two brands that deliver strong growth for William Grant, and may also include recent acquisition Drambuie.

William Grant is seeking a broad range of services, including PR, content and experiential, with one source noting that the company is seeking a more "joined-up" approach to its global brand communication.

The pitch follows the arrival of former Diageo executive Philip Gladman as William Grant CMO earlier this year.

Steely Fox director Rory Steel told the Holmes Report that the end of the relationship, which generated a number of award-winning campaings, was a "huge disappointment."

 "We are immensely proud of our achievements with the company, especially on Hendrick’s Gin, where our strategic consul and creative activity have been a major part of that brand’s massive success in developing a consumer appetite for super premium gin and setting a new benchmark for spirits marketing both in the UK and beyond," said Fox.
 
"As a specialist in the drinks sector our insight into consumer behaviour and industry nuances will continue to set us apart from other generalist consumer agencies, and this means we will always remain small, dynamic and highly creative," added Steel. "We wish William Grant & Sons every success as they prepare their brands and marketing division for the next step in their business evolution."

William Grant works with a number of PR agencies across its portfolio, which also includes Glenfiddich and Tullamore Dew. It recently reported an increase in profits, despite slowing sales. Profits grew 4% to nearly £140m, amid a 17% fall in turnover to £933.2m.

The company did not respond to request for comment as this story went live.

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