WCRS could be about to ditch its &£10m Carling lager account after 17 years to join the contest for rival Holsten Pils, according to industry sources.
The agency denies it has been secretly added to the &£6m Holsten pitch list alongside incumbent TBWA GGT Simons Palmer,
J Walter Thompson, Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters and Leagas Delaney.
WCRS says it remains committed to Carling’s parent company Bass and is not pitching for the Holsten account.
But industry sources say the imminent sale of Bass’s brewing interests has led WCRS to seek other business and that it is in the running for Holsten.
WCRS also handles Bass brands Grolsch, thought to be worth about &£5m, Staropramen, Bass Ale and Japanese import Asahi. The total Bass business could be worth &£20m a year, including Carling.
The agency has produced some of the country’s most best-loved lager campaigns, including “I bet he drinks Carling Black Label…”
A spokesman for Bass said the brewing giant was not aware that WCRS was pitching for another drinks brand. “In line with accepted industry practice, we would not expect them to be working on other brands.”
A spokesman for Holsten UK, which called a review two months ago after more than 20 years with TBWA, says: “We have not made any changes to the original pitch list.”
Bass is expected to announce the &£2bn sale of its brewing interests in the next few weeks. Current frontrunners to acquire the business are Carlsberg and Heineken.