Coors gears up for UK expansion

US brewer Adolph Coors plans to expand its Coors beer brand in the UK and to take control of its distribution and marketing following its &£1.2bn purchase of the Carling business portion of Bass Brewers.

Over the Christmas period, Coors became the second-most powerful player in the UK beer market, as a result of gaining control over the Carling, Worthington and Caffrey ale brands, plus the rights to Dutch beer Grolsch.

Doug Clydesdale, director of marketing at Carlsberg, which handles Coors’ beer distribution, says he believes the US company will be looking to sell the product throughout the UK.

The market for Coors beer is being tested by Carlsberg in Scotland, with a TV and cinema campaign launched in July last year.

Clydesdale says Coors is likely to review its advertising for Coors beer. This is handled by Banks Hoggins O’Shea/FCB. Clydesdale says: “It’s early days yet, but it’s very likely Carling breweries will be distributing it and not us. If that is the case, it will of course appoint its own advertising agencies.”

Coors is also likely to review the Bass roster agencies: Roose & Partners, Mustoe Merriman Levy and The Leith. Media is handled by BBJ.

A Coors spokesman in the US, Kevin Caulfield, does not rule out a prominent role for Coors in the UK. He says: “The UK marketing of Coors is not a priority at the moment, though it certainly is a possibility.”

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