Leith Agency forced into Tennent’s resignation over Carling ‘conflict’

Coors UK has forced the Leith Agency to resign the £1.5m Tennent’s Lager account, following a conflict of interest over rival lager Carling. The move ends a 13-year relationship.

Until September last year, Carling was owned by Tennent’s parent company Interbrew, which did not market Carling in Scotland. The split follows a decision by Carling’s new parent company, Coors UK, to market the brand north of the border. Carling already spends £10.5m through the Leith Agency’s London branch. In retaliation, Interbrew plans to advertise Tennent’s in England.

Tennent’s has reacted angrily to news of the Leith Agency’s resignation. A spokesman for the brand says: “We were certainly happy with the safeguards the Leith Agency had put in place to prevent any conflicts of interest, but Carling obviously has its own agenda.”

Leith Agency chief executive John Rowley says: “We have tried to reassure both clients, but it has become clear that we couldn’t maintain this position in the long term.”

Leith London also handles Grolsch, which spent £6.8m last year, for Coors UK. The agency will continue to work on Tennent’s until the end of the year, but it is understood that a number of Scottish agencies have already approached Interbrew about the account.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here