Arun Sudhaman 15 Jan 2016 // 2:24PM GMT
LONDON—Bacardi has begun a review of PR agency support for key brands across Europe, the Holmes Report has learned.
The spirits company is understood to be looking for PR support at both a regional and local level in Europe for a brand portfolio that includes Bacardi rum, Grey Goose vodka and Bombay Sapphire gin. The assignment is thought to be worth upwards of $5m, and has attracted the interest of several big PR agencies.
The search comes after a significant shakeup of Bacardi's marketing and communications last year. This included a review of below-the-line communications, including PR, following a major consolidation of advertising and media buying with Omnicom agencies BBDO and OMD.
The below-the-line review, which included PR, was expected to again benefit global Omnicom agencies, including FleishmanHillard and Ketchum. However, a source familiar with the process said that the spirits company may now be taking a regional view of its PR requirements again.
The Bacardi brand previously worked with Citizen Relations, a relationship that included the successful Spirit of Bacardi graphic novel project.
The recent flux in Bacardi's PR support comes after considerable restructuring of the parent group's marketing departments, following the arrival of new CEO Mike Dolan last year. The company has created two marketing 'centres of excellence' in North America and Europe, respectively, and parted ways with CMO Dmitry Ivanov after just six months in the role.
Instead, each centre of excellence is led by a regional CMO that reports directly to Dolan. The European CMO is Shane Hoyne, while Mauricio Vergara assumed the North American CMO position. In addition, Bacardi hired former global communications director Zara Mirza as head of creative excellence, based in London.
The world’s largest family-owned liquor producer, Bacardi does not typically release financial information. The company embarked on a cost-cutting initiative last year, laying off 10% of its North American staff following difficult trading conditions.
Bacardi representatives did not respond to request for comment as this story went live.