TBWA holds on to £6m Holsten

TBWA GGT Simons Palmer has retained the £6m Holsten Pils account after a three-way pitch – despite the failure of its Fast Show campaign, which featured characters from the cult TV show.

TBWA GGT Simons Palmer has retained the &£6m Holsten Pils account after a three-way pitch – despite the failure of its Fast Show campaign, which featured characters from the cult TV show.

The Fast Show team will be axed in favour of a more down-to-earth approach, focusing on the brand’s core values.

TBWA successfully repitched for the business against Leagas Delaney and WCRS, which is left without a beer account. It was dropped from the Bass roster when news emerged it was pitching for a rival brand.

TBWA, which has handled Holsten Pils for 20 years, signed up The Fast Show cast in a blaze of publicity two years ago. But the ads, which featured the “suits you” gentlemen outfitters, oily car salesman Swiss Tony and other Fast Show characters, failed to halt a decline in Holsten’s sales, which fell by 11 per cent last year to &£25.4m, according to AC Nielsen-MEAL.

But TBWA account director Leigh Baker says: “We have held share in a market that was down. We have halted the decline – the premium packaged lager market fell 11 per cent last year.”

Andy Edge, Holsten UK’s new marketing director, who stepped in to oversee the pitch after the departure of Phil Plowman, claims the company had always planned to drop The Fast Show after two years.

But a source close to Holsten says: “The company was not happy with the work it was getting. It just wasn’t working.” TBWA has put a new creative team on the account, who are expected to drop the comedy approach. The first ads are expected in the autumn.

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