Courage, Britain’s second biggest brewer, is set to split from long-standing roster agency BMP DDB Needham, which could mean the end of the TV advertisements starring comedian Jack Dee and the dancing penguins.
The move follows a client conflict with US brewer Anheuser-Busch, which hired BMP’s parent to handle its account last November (MW November 18). It now seems that BMP will take on Anheuser-Busch’s flagship brands, Budweiser and Michelob, in the UK. This means it can no longer handle the John Smith’s Bitter and Foster’s lager account, worth £8.56m (Register-MEAL) last year.
No one at BMP was available to comment on the deal.
When the US brewer took its business out of D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and into DDB Needham, the appointment was thought to be limited to the US, so enabling BMP in London to hold on to the Courage account.
Budweiser and Michelob are held by DMB&B and are worth almost exactly the same amount – £8.52m (Register-MEAL) – as the Courage brands that BMP will be resigning.
BMP seems unlikely to lose out financially, but the agency is bound to be unhappy about losing accounts for which it has produced so much award-winning work over the years.
It achieved a high-profile both for the brand and the agency with its work for John Smith’s Bitter.
BMP also originated the Paul Hogan series of ads for Foster’s lager in the late Eighties.
Most recently, it created the giant ski-jumping kangaroo for Foster’s Ice beer.
It is not clear which agencies are likely to pick up the accounts from BMP. The other roster agencies are Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe and Young & Rubicam.