SPI Group has agreed a deal with advertising giant Ogilvy for the global branding and marketing of Stolichnaya vodka.

The move is part of Russia-based SPI's five-year plan to grow Stolichnaya's international presence, recently announced in a just-drinks interview with minority shareholder Andrey Skurikhin.

SPI has also been in talks with potential distributors around the world, following news that Pernod Ricard is to cease distributing Stolichnaya. It has insisted the brand is not for sale.

Skurikhin, announcing the Ogilvy deal last Thursday (28 August), said of the plan to grow Stolichnaya sales: "This goal requires strengthening all elements of our business - increasing our presence locally, developing the effectiveness of our trade relations, refreshing the brand's DNA and improving both the qualitative and quantitative elements of our advertising and communications."

Vodka sales have so far continued to rise in Stolichnaya's key US market, despite the country's economic downturn. SPI estimates it has around a 5% share of the overall US vodka market.

The main target of Stolichnaya advertising campaigns would be adult trendsetters, according to SPI.

Carla Hendra, Co-CEO of Ogilvy North America and chairperson of Ogilvy New York, said: "The chance to transform the Stolichnaya brand is irresistible. Ogilvy's creativity and deep consumer insights were what led to a creative idea that we believe will allow 'Stoli' to reach new heights as the vodka market continues to expand".