Mother set to clinch Miller global brief

SABMiller is poised to appoint Mother to its multi-million pound global advertising and positioning brief for American beer brand Miller Genuine Draft following a three-way pitch. The agency pitched against VCCP and Toronto-based marketing agency The Hive.

The account is worth about $240m (&£135m) globally, which includes the US. But Mother’s appointment is thought to exclude the UK. Miller spent less than &£1m on advertising in the UK last year, but it is understood the budget is being reviewed.

The appointment was made by SABMiller brand communications director Charlie Hiscocks and group marketing director Mark Sherrington. A spokesman for SABMiller UK confirms that the brand is “working with Mother on a project”, but maintains that no formal appointment has been made. It is thought that Mother will create advertising for the beer brand in key European markets as well as Russia and South Africa.

When London-based South African Breweries bought Miller in 2002 for $5.6bn (&£3.1bn) in 2002 to create SABMiller, it acknowledged that the Miller brand would need more marketing and advertising support to compete with Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser.

Scottish Courage owns the licence to manufacture and market Miller Genuine Draft in the UK. Miller Lite, a low carbohydrate beer, and Miller High Life, a value brand, are only sold in the US.

The last UK advertising for Miller Genuine Draft was created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/ Y&R in March 2003, but the agency went on to win a global (excluding the UK) advertising account for rival beer brand Carlsberg, which left Miller without an agency of record in the UK.

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