Allied Domecq to set up roster

International drinks giant Allied Domecq is poised to appoint a new roster of packaging design and new product development groups.

The company is understood to have held talks with design groups including Interbrand Newell and Sorrell, Design Bridge, Lewis Moberly, Blackburns and London NPD specialist Brand Genetics. Appointments are expected early next year.

The project is understood to encompass all the conglomerate’s product brands, in more than 20 countries. Allied Domecq brands include Beefeater Gin, Ballantine’s, Teacher’s and Laphroaig whiskies, Courvoisier Cognac and Cockburn’s Ports.

A spokesman for Allied Domecq says: “We are in the process of organising a roster for our design work. We are currently half way through the pitch process.” He declines to identify shortlisted consultancies but says a list of design groups which satisfy Allied Domecq’s requirements “on paper”, has been established, with final decisions yet to be made.

A number of the groups believed to have been approached have worked for the conglomerate before. Blackburn’s managing director John Blackburn says his group has worked for Allied Domecq for 25 years and he is optimistic it will be on the roster.

Brand Genetics joint founder John Kearon confirms the group has had meetings with Allied Domecq. He describes the consultancy as specialising in “big change” projects, with clients including General Motors, Elida Fabergé and Britvic.

Design Bridge managing director David Rivett says meetings have been held through client liaison service Global Design Register, but he declines to comment further.

Spokeswomen for both Lewis Moberly and Interbrand Newell and Sorrell decline to comment on the roster.

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