Heineken has appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty to its £40m global advertising brief following a pitch against incumbent Red Brick Road.
The incumbent will retain a place on the Heineken roster. It has already been tasked with a new corporate social responsibility campaign for the beer brand.
The appointment of BBH follows news that the agency held “secret talks” with the Dutch brewer this summer with a view to working on some projects for Heineken, including its sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League (MW August 21). At the time, the brewer was also thought to have talked to Wieden & Kennedy in Amsterdam.
It is thought the pitch followed the brewer’s decision to “refresh” the premium strength Heineken brand. The brand was launched five years ago after the standard strength Heineken Cold Filtered lager, then brewed under contract by Whitbread, was ditched.
Sources say BBH’s appointment suggests Red Brick Road could be forced to adapt the global work that the new lead agency will create.
Red Brick Road won the Heineken business, including the sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League, two years ago. It had previously been handled by Strawberry Frog. The win came soon 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.
Heineken is thought to be planning to announce its new roster later this week.