Whitbread plans to steal a march on rival Carlsberg with Heineken relaunch in advance of Euro

Whitbread is planning to ambush the Carlsberg-sponsored Euro 96 football championships with the relaunch of its standard Heineken lager. It will be repackaged, and promoted, with a new advertising campaign.

The Heineken initiative is the more audacious because Carlsberg – one of Heineken’s principal competitors – is itself planning to use Euro 96 as the backdrop for relaunching its own standard lager.

The relaunch will feature a new can, with the Heineken logo running vertically down the side and the line “cold filtered” running diagonally. The alcoholic strength will be 3.4 per cent, despite moves by standard lager rivals such as Carlsberg to increase the strength of their products.

The brand will be relaunched in advance of the Euro 96 championship. It is understood the marketing will use references to the championships in what are being seen as spoiling tactics to take the thunder away from Carlsberg’s sponsorship.

Whitbread refused to comment on the marketing for the relaunch, Brand manager Richard Evans confirms the advertising will use press and posters, leaving TV for the premium Heineken Export brand.

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