Asahi Beer appoints sales and marketing manager

Moto Suzuki, sales and marketing manager for Asahi Beer Europe, has been promoted to general manager, replacing Tadashi Nakai, who has moved back to Asahi’s headquarters in Japan.

It is understood that Nakai will continue to be involved in the Japanese brewer’s European operations.

Suzuki is overseeing the review of the creative account for Asahi Super Dry. Incumbent Nexus/h, which has held the account for five years, is pitching next week against JWT and RPM3. Asahi spent just over £300,000 on the brand in the year to the end of June 2006, according to AC Nielsen.

In Japan, Asahi is locked in a struggle with Kirin Brewery for market leadership. Although Asahi Super Dry is still Japan’s best-selling beer, Kirin overtook its rival for the first time in five years at the start of 2006. Asahi is planning to win back the top spot with a raft of new product launches.

In the UK, Asahi Super Dry was imported from Japan until 2000, with marketing, sales and distribution handled by Bass. In 2000, Asahi took back marketing, sales and distribution, and the product was brewed under licence in the Czech Republic by Staropramen Breweries, which still brews and sells it in 20 European countries. Since 2005, it has been brewed for the UK market under licence by Shepherd Neame.

Nexus/h won the account in September 2001 from McCann-Erickson Windsor, which took over from WCRS.

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