Heineken prepares for UK relaunch

Heineken, the global lager brand, is understood to be gearing up for a major relaunch in the UK next year. It is expected to take place in the first half of the year.

It is thought to be at an early stage in the rebranding process, with no definitive strategy agreed as yet.

The move is seen as an admission its repositioning of the beer as a premium strength lager in 2003  has failed.

Industry insiders say that the revamp is “a big rethink” and a “big task”. A spokeswoman for the company has denied that a relaunch is imminent.

The company claims it has “gone from strength to strength since the relaunch back in 2003” and says that its total volume sales grew by 20% last year.

It has already reviewed its agencies this year. In July, it appointed start-up agency The Red Brick Road to handle its international account, which had previously been handled by StrawberryFrog Amsterdam. The London-based agency then added the UK brief in September.

If the relaunch goes ahead it will be the latest step in a wider overhaul of the company’s portfolio of lager brands. Over the past month it has also relaunched Amstel in bottles and returned to selling the beer to the off-trade again after an absence of several years.

Last week, Heineken launched a global campaign based around the new Bond film, Casino Royale, due to have its worldwide premiere in London on November 14.

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