Scottish Courage brief set to stay within Publicis Groupe

Scottish Courage’s cider brands are thought to be staying within the Publicis Groupe, after its roster agency Leo Burnett took on the UK advertising brief for rival InBev’s Beck’s lager brand.

Leo Burnett handles the &£8m advertising business for the Scottish & Newcastle-owned Scottish Courage cider brands, which include Bulmers, Strongbow and Woodpecker. The Publicis Groupe-owned agency, which already handles Beck’s in the US through its Chicago office, was asked to take on the UK brief for the lager this month.

It is understood that Scottish Courage is exploring the possibility of staying within the Publicis Groupe if an agreement cannot be reached to enable Leo Burnett to handle both the briefs.

Within the Publicis Groupe, the only agency that lacks a beer client is Publicis. Sister shop Saatchi & Saatchi handles Carlsberg, while Fallon was recently appointed to InBev’s &£2m advertising for its speciality beer Leffe (MW May 19).

Scottish Courage’s roster also includes M&C Saatchi and TBWA/London.

M&C does advertising for Foster’s lager and TBWA handles creative work for the John Smith’s and McEwan’s ranges. Scottish Courage marketing director Tim Seager is thought to be keen to continue a relationship with the Publicis Groupe, instead of turning to the other two roster shops.

In May, InBev bought the right to license and distribute Beck’s in the UK from S&N for &£77m. The sum will be paid in agreed annual rates until 2012.

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