John Ayling picks up Asahi business

Asahi Super Dry, the Japanese beer brand, has appointed John Ayling & Associates (JAA) to handle its 1m media planning and buying account. It follows a four-way pitch against three undisclosed agencies.

Asahi Asahi Super Dry, the Japanese beer brand, has appointed John Ayling & Associates (JAA) to handle its £1m media planning and buying account. It follows a four-way pitch against three undisclosed agencies.

It is not clear if incumbent agency Media by Design was involved in the pitch. JAA is now working with the brand’s advertising agency Hooper Galton to create a campaign to increase awareness and build distribution of the brand.

Asahi closed down its London office earlier this year and handed responsibility for the marketing and distribution to Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame late last year (MW December 14). JAA already handles the media planning and buying for Shepherd Neame’s Spitfire brand.

JAA founder John Ayling says: "Asahi is a distinctive brand in the market."

The changes followed a European restructure that led to general manager Tadashi Nakai returning to Japan, and sales and marketing manager Moto Suzuki taking up his role (MW November 2). Suzuki is now focusing on building distribution in Europe.

Earlier this year, Asahi appointed Hooper Galton to its advertising business following a competitive pitch. The process attracted controversy after the agency was appointed to the account despite apparently being eliminated at an earlier stage. Incumbent agency Nexus/h slammed the pitch for being protracted and wasting time and energy (MW March 8).

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