Young’s beer holds pitch for 2.5m account

Farm, Team Saatchi and an as-yet undecided third agency are being invited to pitch for the 2.5m advertising account for Young’s beer.

Farm currently holds the account, while Team Saatchi does creative work for sister brand Bombardier. Nigel McNally, managing director of the Wells & Young’s Brewing Company (W&YBC), will oversee the pitch. W&YBC is the new joint-venture company formed by merging the brewing interests of Bedford-based Charles Wells and Wandsworth-based Young’s. McNally is currently recruiting a marketing director to look after an estimated 15m marketing budget.

W&YBC is positioning itself as a national brewer of cask beers and other speciality beers. With total annual sales of 480,000 barrels, it is the UK’s third biggest regional brewer, behind Wolverhampton & Dudley on 603,000 and Greene King on 540,000.

McNally has been in charge of marketing at Charles Wells for the past 13 years, and has worked with Team Saatchi since 1995. But he says that any of the three agencies invited to pitch for the Young’s account could win it: “It will be a competitive live pitch and the agency that comes up with the best solution will get it.”

In addition to the 5m that goes on above-the-line work for the Wells and Young’s beers, W&YBC also spends at least 5m on imported Mexican beer Corona (for experiential and other below-the line-work), 2m on Jamaican lager Red Stripe, which is brewed under licence, and 800,000 on Japanese beer Kirin, again brewed under licence. There is also an active new product development programme.

The pub estates of Charles Wells and Young’s (around 275 and 200 pubs respectively) will continue to be run separately, but long-term supply contracts with W&YBC have been signed.

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