Stella seeks support to shed ‘wife beater’ image

Stella Artois is looking for a PR agency to support its new strategy to salvage an upmarket image.

Parent firm InBev’s search for an agency coincides with the ­rebranding of the lager as simply Artois, which is intended to end its association with drunken violence and loutish behaviour.

The drinks company has ditched the tagline ‘reassuringly expensive’, replacing it with ‘pass on something good’.

On Monday, newly retained ad agency Lowe London debuted a new 60-second TV spot for the rebranded Artois, focusing on the brewer’s heritage and depicting Artois drinkers carrying out good deeds in a rural French pub.

This comes after September’s Advertising Standards Authority ban on an ad claiming the brand had been ‘dedicated to brewing for six centuries’.

Sister brands Artois Bock and Peeterman Artois were only launched last year.

A spokesperson at InBev’s ­Luton office confirmed the company was seeking PR support but declined to give further details, saying only that a decision would be made in the next 10 days.

She added that a shortlist had not yet been drawn up.

A senior public affairs source involved in the pitch said the brief was mostly aimed at supporting the rebrand, but added that there would be some corporate activity.

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