Energy BBDO/Chicago and Deerfield-based Beam Global Spirits & Wines have ended a six-year relationship. The parting of the ways comes as Energy BBDO was just releasing a new TV campaign for the Jim Beam brand with the tagline "Guys Never Change; Neither Do We." The departure of the Beam business from Energy BBDO also comes just a month after Kevin George, a former Unilever executive, was named Beam's new global chief marketing officer. George replaced Rory Finlay, who had been with Beam for three years. Over the past number of years, Beam Global Spirits has seen considerable churn in its executive suite, including the marketing department.
Despite Energy BBDO's award-winning work for the Beam bourbon and Canadian Club whiskey brands, the Beam company was prone to testing the relationship between client and agency. Sources say Beam quietly put the Beam and Canadian Club business into review almost a year ago, and Energy BBDO was forced to compete with Goodby Silverstein & Partners/San Francisco and Droga5/New York to hold on to the accounts. Energy BBDO prevailed in that review with the "Guys Never Change" work that is now hitting the air.
Sources say Energy BBDO had not budgeted much or any income from Beam for 2010, so massive layoffs are not expected as a result of the loss of the Beam account.