Brown-Forman awards global creative account to EnergyBBDO

Arnold Worldwide says farewell to the Jack Daniel's business following decades of service.

Brown-Forman has awarded its global creative account to EnergyBBDO -- the network's Chicago office.

The conclusion of this pitch closes the curtains on a 20-year relationship with Arnold Worldwide and the brand’s crown jewel, Jack Daniel’s. 

Brown-Forman was seeking partnership from an agency with a global remit to help better consolidate its numerous labels which include Woodford Reverse. 

The brand’s global media spend is estimated to be around $65million, according to COMvergence. The largest slice of that resides in the U.S. ($45million) and Jack Daniel’s represents $30million. Other notable regions include the U.K. ($4million), Germany ($3million) and South Africa ($1million).

AAR Partners in New York City managed the review, which kicked off at the beginning of summer. It referred comment to Brown-Forman.

Final stages of the review comprised presentations of more than six-hours from each finalist, owing to the brands expansive portfolio, according to people with knowledge of the process.

BBDO fought off competition from shops including FCB, WPP’s Grey and independent Cramer Krasselt. The final decision came down to the wire with FCB. 

New business for the agency encompasses most of Brown-Forman’s global brand portfolio. 

Jack Daniel’s has been serviced by Havas’ Arnold Worldwide for the past two decades. In that time, it has helped elevate the label to become the number one whiskey brand in the Interbrand Best Global Brands 2017 list. Among other accolades is top spot for Spirits Brand on Social by The Spirits Business in 2019. 

Paul Marobella, chairman and CEO, Havas Creative, North America, told Campaign US: "We are extremely proud of the work we’ve done over the past 20+ years in partnership with Brown-Forman. We’ve helped transform the Jack Daniel’s family of brands into a global icon -- growing the business six percent (CAGR) over the last ten years across 175 markets. We wish them the best of luck and continued success." 

Arnold is focused on building out its already strong talent pool with a new CEO, which has so far attracted some big names. 

Mark McCallum, chief brands officer at Brown-Forman, told Campaign US at the time it launched the review: "I believe we are at a pivotal moment in time as we seek to deliver the next generation of growth for our brands."

FCB declined to comment. EnergyBBDO referred calls to the client. Brown-Forman has no yet responded to a request for comment. 

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