The good ship Special Group continues to cut a swathe through adland and its most recent appointment has given it the drinks trolley: after a competitive pitch, the Kingsland-based AXIS hoggers have been appointed, effective immediately, to handle Lion Nathan's suite of Diageo brands, which includes Smirnoff, Baileys, Guinness and Johnny Walker.
"These are mega brands globally, and they're strongly positioned in this market," says Special Group managing partner Michael Redwood. "The Lion team are really up for some innovative thinking, and we're looking forward to working with them".
Lion Nathan's Adrian Hirst says Special Group stood out because it has managed to deliver some great creative ideas that get talked about (chief among them the work for Orcon).
"Plus, they really demonstrated their ability to bring to life our vision for these brands."
Special Group are also in the running for some more boozey action with Lion Nathan: its neglected children Waikato Draught and Lion Red are up for pitch at the moment and sponsorship director Stephen Smith has said the list comprises Josh & Jamie, Shine, DDB, Special and incumbent Publicis Mojo.
In other pitchy business, the NBR reported that the ASB pitch is down to two: the incumbent TBWA and the new boy in town, Droga5.