Tim Palmer The fist shots in a campaign designed to revitalise the UK malt whisky market have been fired by William Grant. It is spending £1.5m on pre-Christmas press and poster advertising for its brand leader Glenfiddich, which began this week. This is part of a global campaign designed to move the brand away from traditional malt whisky advertising. Steve Gater, marketing manager at the malt's distributor First Drinks Brands, said: "Over the next five years we intend to build the style and substance of the brand. Its future will come from a younger market and we want 30 to 35 year olds to be key consumers. "In the UK the number of malt whisky consumers has declined by 500,000 to 8.45 million in the last five years, despite growth in the adult population of 1.7%. "We are not recruiting younger consumers and the interest in malt has come from current drinkers who are consuming more. At the same time the average age of whisky drinkers is increasing, and is now 52." Latest ACNielsen figures showed the market declining at 6% with Glenfiddich down 16%. Gater said: "The brand is holding its market leadership but its share is being eroded. It has suffered from pricing activity because it is the biggest brand on the market. "It is usually labelled as the beginner's malt which has also not helped. However the introduction of 15 and 18 year old styles last year has helped to address this. "We have a powerful new advertising message and the new variants are doing well with double digit growth." The strapline for the new ad is Independent Spirit. This will run in the national press in England and Scotland until Christmas and these will be supported by poster advertising which will start at the beginning of December. The £1.5m campaign is part of a £2.5m marketing budget for the brand in the UK this year. {{DRINKS }}