Heineken has appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty to a secret project, just weeks after it put incumbent agency Red Brick Road on alert by approaching rival agencies about its £40m global advertising brief.
Industry insiders say that the move is understood to put BBH in pole position to become the lead agency on the Dutch brewer’s advertising account. It is thought that BBH is working on some strategic projects for the Heineken brand and its future strategy, as well as its sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League.
The brewer is also understood to have talked to Wieden & Kennedy in Amsterdam, but it is unclear if the agency has been added to the roster.
Red Brick Road won the Heineken business, including the sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League, two years ago.
The win came just months after the agency was set up by Sir Frank Lowe, who is known to have close ties with the daughter of the former Heineken boss, Freddie Heineken. It was previously handled by StrawberryFrog.
Red Brick Road unveiled its first campaign for the brewer last summer, marking the brand’s return to TV advertising after two years.
It featured an amorous lobster and a humorous French voiceover. The campaign aimed to position the brand as “continental”.
A spokeswoman for Heineken says the company does not comment on any future agency relationships, but adds: “We continue to work with Red Brick Road.”