The WPP marketing agency will now lead and consolidate Baileys’ global digital campaigns. The brand’s global creative agency Mother previously handled some digital work for Baileys but this is its first global digital agency-of-record appointment.
Baileys kicked off a review in February because it wanted a single agency to provide greater digital expertise, particularly around data-driven marketing and social-media marketing.
The brand, which was launched in 1974 and is known for its distinctive branding as a homegrown Irish spirit, was proclaimed by Diageo to have "never been in better shape" last year after posting 5% growth worldwide.
Baileys sold 6.4 million nine-litre cases worldwide in 2016, according to Statista, and last year was on course to break the 100 million bottle barrier for the first time in decades, according to the Irish Spirits Association.
This recent upturn followed a decade of relatively stagnant sales growth since 2005, amid efforts to widen Baileys’ appeal beyond as a festive drink. This included the introduction of new flavours such as salted caramel, espresso cream and pumpkin spice.
Creative campaigns in recent years by Mother, which was appointed as global creative agency in 2015, have aimed to simplify the messaging to Baileys being an indulgent treat through the "Don’t Mind if I Baileys" positioning.
Diageo confirmed to Campaign it had appointed VML but would not comment further.
Jon Sharpe, chief executive Europe of VML, said: "We’re delighted to have been appointed by Baileys and continue the strong momentum in VML London. We’re looking forward to working with the brilliant team at Diageo and their agency partners on the great work they’ve been doing on what is the most loved spirit in the world."