Special Group took over Lion's suite of Diageo products after it won a competitive pitch in June last year. But a decision to use more global creative for its Smirnoff brand means the local boys have been cut out the action for the time being.
"We're looking at how we can evolve into what our global partners are doing and seeing what's working for them," says Adrian Hirst, Diageo's marketing manager.
He says the decision doesn't mean a lot for Special Group, which recently got the brand on the telly with the pretty bloody interesting Smirnoff Night Project, and they will still be working with them on a project by project basis if a brief comes up. But he says it has decided to pull a project it was thinking about doing locally and will instead be running international material for its next push—as happens a lot with these global brands—and getting some help outside Special to implement and activate it.
The Diageo portfolio also includes Johnnie Walker, Jose Cuervo, Guinness and Baileys and Hirst says Special Group is currently working on a Baileys project.