Wolff Olins wins GMG Brands job

Wolff Olins has been appointed to design the corporate identity for the food and drinks giant which will be created from the 24m mega-merger of Grand Metropolitan and Guinness.

Wolff Olins is believed to have been given just four days notice before a credentials and proposals pitch to GrandMet and Guinness officials last Thursday. A decision was made by Friday morning, with Landor Associates and Interbrand believed to have also pitched.

The brief will be one of the highest profile corporate identity tasks in the UK industry this year. It will involve investigating new names and logos for the merged group which has a working title of GMG Brands.

Providing the regulators give their blessing, the combined group will mark the largest-ever merger in the UK. It will also have a formidable marketing budget at its disposal, combining Guinness’ 597m marketing spend with GrandMet’s 1.2bn.

Unless forced to divest, the UK giant will contain the four high-profile branded businesses Pillsbury, Burger King, Guinness Brewing Worldwide and the combined spirits firm United Distillers Vintners (UDV). Wolff Olins will be charged with designing a new logo for UDV which will have an enviable brand portfolio containing a series of top-rank names including seven of the world’s top 20 spirits brands.

GMG officials say the brief does not include looking at rebranding any other part of the business and will not involve looking at changing individual brands.

See News Analysis, page 7.

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