SINGAPORE--Drinks giant Diageo has called in Tulchan’s Singapore office to support its sustainability and corporate PR agenda in Asia-Pacific, as it switches to a project partnership with previous incumbent Grayling.

The decision comes with Diageo poised to make CSR a centrepiece of its corporate communication in the region, which accounts for around 14 percent of net group sales.

Diageo corporate relations director Ian Wright told the Holmes Report that Tulchan will “support our sustainability and responsibility agenda and corporate communications in our Asia-Pacific region.”

Wright also confirmed that the company’s six-year retainer with Grayling had now shifted to a project relationship.

Grayling won Diageo’s Asia-Pacific corporate PR mandate in 2006, before a review in 2010 saw the scope limited to external communications. AKA Asia (previously known as Impact Asia), brought onboard to handle internal communications, continues to work in that capacity.

Wright also noted that the company’s global relationships with Brunswick and Edelman “remain unchanged.”

Diageo reported “disappointing” Asia-Pacific sales in the first quarter of its 2013 fiscal year, thanks to a delayed duty-free shipment and weak demand in South Korea. However, its 2012 results reveal organic growth of eight percent, thanks to double-digit expansion in Southeast Asia, India and China.

The region is viewed as a key growth engine for the company, which already has a 30 percent share of its liquor market. Diageo’s Asia-Pacific sales currently total around £1.3bn, and include investments in China and Vietnam. The company is also in talks to acquire a stake in Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya’s United Spirits.