Liquor marker Beam Suntory has chosen Leo Burnett as the global creative agency of record for Jim Beam whiskey. The Chicago-based agency beat out DDB and McCann in a review that began this fall.
Previously, the account belonged to StoryWorks, a creative agency consisting of Mekanism in the U.S., The Works in Australia and Jung Von Matt in Germany.
According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, Beam Suntory spent $26 million on paid media for Jim Beam in the U.S. during the first half of this year, and that total marks a nearly 100 percent increase from the same period in 2015.
This win for Leo Burnett is a big one since the agency saw some tough times in 2016 with the loss of a handful of major accounts.
In August, they lost their $1 billion McDonald’s account when the golden arches chose to consolidate with Omnicom. In a statement at the time, McDonald USA’s chief marketing officer Deborah Wahl said McDonald’s and Omnicom sought to “create a new agency which is yet to be named, to build the agency of the future.”
The agency also lost portions of the Pfizer business and flagship client General Mills put its GMC brand in review in September.
Additionally, Leo Burnett Chicago went through a round of layoffs in August, totaling just over 20 according to reports.
In addition to the Jim Beam brand, Leo Burnett's Arc Worldwide was chosen as the lead agency for MillerCoors in November.