Agency shake-ups at Carling and Heineken

Two of the UK's biggest beer brands have overhauled their PR arrangements as they fight for fridge space in 2008.

Carling: 'Belong' themed commercials link brand with friendship
Carling: 'Belong' themed commercials link brand with friendship

Carling is revamping its consumer PR support as it looks to extend its reach bey­ond music and football interests.

Carling is understood to have already asked for credentials from a number of consumer agencies as it looks to capitalise on the success of its ‘Belong' themed advertising, which discusses friendship in association with the drink.

The £14m campaign was part of a strategy to regain Carling's brand hegemony, not seen since its infamous ‘I bet he drinks Carling Black Label' slogan.

Coors-owned Carling - the best selling beer in the UK - currently uses Hill & Knowlton for its sponsorship of football's Carling Cup and football-related promotions. It also uses Cake for music events.

Last year Coors employed Launch Group to handle consumer campaigns for its low-alcohol lager Carling brand C2 (PRWeek, 12 January 2007).

The two per cent ABV beer C2 from the Carling stable is being positioned as a lunchtime tipple. The agency has also advised on the main Carling brand.

Carling brands are owned by the US Molson Coors Brewing Company.

Meanwhile, Heineken has dropped incumbent agency Salt following a competitive pitch, after seven years and brought in New­shield PR to handle the drinks brand's trade activity. Salt did not repitch for the business.

The news is a further blow for Salt, which lost its consumer project for the beer brand to Ketchum last year (PRWeek, 14 February 2007).

A Salt spokeswoman said: ‘During our time working on the account we helped grow the brand into one of the leading premium beers. Sadly this relationship has now come to a natural end, but we hope Heineken continues to flourish in the UK market.'

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