Tim Palmer Two of the world's leading spirits giants Campari and Suntory are planning to grab a bigger slice of the UK drinks market by combining forces in a joint venture. No name has yet been announced for the new business, which brings together the Japanese company's Scotch whisky subsidiary, Morrison Bowmore, and the Italian's speciality spirits range. When the two companies announced the deal in London this week they pledged a massive increase in support for the key brands. Top priority for the new business will be Bowmore Islay malt whisky, Midori liqueur, Cinzano vermouth and Campari. A second tier of brands includes Skyy vodka from the US and Auchentoshan malt whisky. Steve Webb, who has exchanged his role of sales and marketing director at Morrison Bowmore for that of managing director of the joint venture, said the advertising and marketing support for the major brands this year had been boosted by 40% to £3.1m. "We expect this level of backing to increase," he said. "When we have finished recruiting the full sales team we will be accelerating the sales growth of the brands and supporting them with appropriate levels of investment. "We have ambitious plans but we are going to put our money where our mouth is." Webb said: "Campari and Suntory wanted to extend their UK business and it made sense to look at an initiative which sealed the corporate relationship and gave us confidence to invest in the long term." As a result of this deal the UK distribution of Campari will switch to the joint venture from First Drinks Brands on May 6. The first marketing initiative by the company for Cinzano is a pack revamp which will go into the trade this summer. {{DRINKS }}