Full-service agency Nehus/h has slammed former client Asahi for the way it handled the protracted review that resulted in the business moving to Hooper Galton.
The Japanese beer brand appointed Hooper Galton earlier this week despite apparently eliminating the agency from the pitch at an earlier stage. It was thought that Nehus/h was competing against RPM3 in a final pitch for the account.
Nehus/h claims the brief provided by the client at the final stage had not been approved by Asahi in Japan and that prompted the eleventh-hour change of heart.
Nehus/h client services director Ellen Kent says: “We invested a great deal of time and energy on this pitch and clearly more needs to be done in the industry to ensure that clients properly brief agencies and are aware of the significant resources, both financially and in hours, invested in these pitches.”
Asahi called the review in October last year but in December handed responsibility for UK marketing and distribution for its Asahi Super Dry beer to Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (MW December 14, 2006). Shepherd Neame has been brewing the beer under licence since 2005.
The switch followed a restructuring of Asahi’s European operation in November (MW November 2, 2006).
The UK operation has effectively closed down, although the London office, headed by general manager Moto Suzuki, now concentrates on building Asahi distribution in Europe.
Shepherd Neame brand manager for Asahi, Christian Hamilton, who handled the pitch, was unable to comment as Marketing Week went to press.
Nehus/h had handled the Asahi business since 2001.