Beam Suntory is a leading international spirits company with a small but influential portfolio led by Jim Beam bourbon, the #2 North American whiskey, and Japan's Suntory Kakubin. The current group was formed in 2014 from the acquisition by Japanese giant Suntory of US drinks business Beam Inc. That company had previously been one of several divisions of diversified conglomerate Fortune Brands, originally America's biggest tobacco company before it began to dip its toes into other less controversial industries during the 1960s. Fortune expanded its spirits profile considerably in 2005 when it lent its support to rival Pernod-Ricard's acquisition of the previous global #2, Allied Domecq. As a result, Fortune's drinks cabinet was swelled by the addition of such stellar brands as Sauza tequila, Courvoisier cognac and Canadian Club whisky among others. Further acquisitions followed, include fast-growing Pinnacle vodka. The Allied Domecq deal also marked the beginning of a gradual refocusing of Fortune Brands' odd assortment of different businesses. In 2011, the group spun off its two other main divisions of home hardware (now Fortune Brands Home & Security) and golfing equipment in order to focus exclusively on premium spirits. That divestment led to the slimmed-down group being seen as a prime acquisition target.
Selected Beam Suntory advertising
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Beam Suntory website
|Jim Beam||Pinnacle Vodka|
|Cruzan Rum||Small Batch|
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Nov 2017: Beam Suntory announced the promotion of Albert Baladi to a newly created role as group COO and president, Americas region. That follows the departure of former Americas president Tim Hassett. Pryce Greenow moves up to replace Baladi as president, international markets.
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Dec 2016: Drinks group Beam Suntory added London-based gin distiller Sipsmith to its portfolio for an undisclosed sum. It has acquired a controlling stake in the business, which will continue to be run by founders Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall.
Adbrands Weekly Update 31st Mar 2016: Beam Suntory finally named a replacement for global chief marketing officer Kevin George, who left the group last October. She is Rebecca Messina, formerly SVP, marketing & innovation, venturing & emerging brands at Coca-Cola.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Oct 2015: Kevin George is to step down as chief marketing officer of global spirits giant Beam Suntory next month to take up an "outstanding leadership opportunity outside the spirits industry". He will become president & chief marketing officer of promotional marketing agency Acosta.
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Feb 2014: Ads of the Week: "How Will You Make History?" It's always nice to see a brand break a few of the unspoken traditions of its market. Its an angle that Jim Beam has exploited in the past, and the bourbon reinforces its alternative stance with the new campaign from FutureWorks, the international consortium comprising StrawberryFrog NY, Jung von Matt in Germany and Australia's The Works. Not only does this new campaign avoid that "heroic maverick" stereotype so common to spirits advertising, but it picks a strong woman to front its marketing, actress Mila Kunis. The historical vignettes are nicely done too. All round an excellent campaign.
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