SOFIA —  Diageo has appointed Bulgarian agency United Partners as its strategic culture and entertainment partner for its premium drinks brands in Eastern Europe after a competitive pitch.

The agency – named as PRovoke Media’s agency of the year in Central and Eastern Europe for 2020 – will be working across Diageo’s brands, which include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Gordon’s, J&B, Baileys, and Tanqueray.

United Partners will work with Diageo’s Eastern Europe marketing team to develop cultural strategies for key brands and help to roll them out across the region via its independent agency network, focusing on key markets Russia, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Ukraine and Israel.

Diageo’s senior communications strategist in the region, Penelope Zaoudi, said: “We are absolutely delighted to partner up with United Partners and build the future of our brands in Eastern Europe together. Winning in culture is a key priority for us and we are very much looking forward to creating some award-winning culture campaigns.”

United Partners founder and CEO Maria Gergova-Bengtsson added: “Becoming a strategic partner of Diageo is a huge step in United Partners’ expansion in the region in terms of developing, managing and scaling regional communications strategies.”

The 24-year-old agency – one of the pioneers of PR in Bulgaria – has also worked with other global brands in the region, including Pampers, Gillette, Ariel, Pantene, Always, Old Spice and Nespresso. It has worked with P&G for the past 23 years.