Heineken in agency talks over £40m account

Brewing giant Heineken is understood to be in talks with agencies including Sir Frank Lowe’s start-up Red Brick Road, about shifting its &£40m global advertising business.

The Heineken lager brand global account is handled by Strawberry Frog, which won the business last summer following a final pitch against McCann Erickson London. Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam previously handled the business.

Sir Frank, whose new agency officially opened its doors earlier this month, is said to be friendly with Charlene de Carvalho, the daughter of former Heineken boss Freddie Heineken. De Carvalho inherited a controlling stake in the family business following the death of the Dutch beer magnate Heineken in 2002.

The company’s global spokeswoman refused to comment, but adds: “We do not comment on any new business transactions, such as talks with agencies, about advertising briefs or company acquisitions.”

Clemmow Hornby Inge handles the UK brief but is not believed to have worked for the beer company since Heineken’s decision to axe UK television advertising in favour of press and poster ads and an increased focus on Champions League sponsorship (MW October 27, 2005). It is not known if its relationship will be affected by the latest agency talks.

Heineken UK managing director Rob Marijnen announced the company would plough its &£6.5m UK television budget into alternative forms of marketing.

The brewery also owns the Amstel beer brand. The Amstel creative account is handled by Strawberry Frog globally and by Karmarama in the UK.

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