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Diageo has changed the advertising strategy surrounding its global Smirnoff RTD stable after deciding there was a conflict of interest at the agency handling the brands.

The UK drinks giant said yesterday (30 August) that it has handed responsibility for its global Smirnoff RTD portfolio, including Smirnoff Ice, to the JWT agency.

Ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty had handled the brands but Diageo said it decided to switch agencies due to BBH's commitments with brewing giant InBev. The move means that JWT, which already handles the parent Smirnoff brand, will look after the whole portfolio.

James Thompson, president of global marketing for white spirits and RTDs at Diageo, said JWT had a "clear understanding of the Smirnoff brand".

He added: "JWT has been a great partner and their work has been integral to helping us drive Smirnoff vodka to become the number one premium spirit in the world."

The performance of Diageo's RTD stable has been mixed of late. Sales are up in North America but are down in Europe, to such an extent that they are weighing on the company's performance as a whole on the continent.


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