OMD to pick up Bacardi, fight for Visa

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 17 April 2015

OMD is facing the prospect of losing Visa, but could be on course to pick up the Bacardi account in Australia, according to reports.

Overnight it emerged that Bacardi has consolidated its global creative and media accounts to OMD Worldwide, with the creative reportedly going to fellow Omnicom stablemate BBDO Worldwide.

On the media side, OMD will lead planning and buying across all digital, social, and media platforms with “a particular emphasis on innovative and cutting-edge ideas, rooted in data-driven insights, to reach millennial customers”.

Worldwide Bacardi had used a mix of different agencies, with ZenithOptimedia holding the account in Australia, after winning the account back in 2009.

Sources at OMD Sydney said this morning it was unclear at this stage whether or not it would be handed the Bacardi account from ZenithOptimedia as a result of the global review, but it had been advised of the global win.

In Australia, it has formed a joint venture with Lion, making Bacardi Lion, however, both media accounts have remained with different agencies with STW-backed Bohemia holding the Lion account, which incorporates brands such as Hahn and Tooheys Brewery.

THe Bacardi Lion Australian JV, is however, set to split by the end of March 2016.

Meanwhile, it was separately confirmed that Visa is launching a worldwide media review, and with OMD holding the account in Australia it throws up the prospect that while OMD may be about to have one account dropped in its lap, it will have to fight for another.

OMD held onto the US business and added on more international business, including Australia, on the heels of a reorginisation in 2007 according to AdAge.

It is also unclear whether there could be an Australia-specific pitch in the works for Visa, although it is thought Visa pitches mainly on a global basis rather than running market-specific processes.

Requests for comment from local arms of Visa and Bacardi went unanswered this morning.

Visa had a main media spend of $6.1 million from March last year to February, while Bacardi had a media spend of about $850,000 according to Nielsen estimates.

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