WHITE PLAINS, NY: Heineken USA has selected Manning Selvage & Lee (MS&L) to be its AOR for the corporation and Heineken's portfolio of brands including Heineken, Heineken Premium Light, and Amstel light. MS&L's New York office will lead the account.
MS&L also won the Heineken Premium Light business in January, a review process that was featured in a July 31 PRWeek feature.
"They did very well [in that pitch] and were invited to pitch for the overall corporate and marketing PR activity, including AOR," said Dan Tearno, VP corporate relations Heineken USA.
Heineken's previous AOR was Euro RSCG Magnet. That relationship ended in March of 2006. Tearno would not say if Euro was invited to take part in this latest review, nor would he discuss how many agencies participated in the process. Billings are undisclosed.
Jim Tsokanos, managing director of MS&L New York office, said the agency would utilize all of its resources and locations for Heineken.
"It's a great opportunity because we get the chance to flex our muscle in a lot of different areas," Tsokanos said. "We're building around the client and making sure we have the right resources, talent, and people [in order to] be both anticipatory of their needs and help frame out what the new way of communications are going to be for the future."
Tsokanos said MS&L's corporate team in New York will be working on the reputation and regular corporate business. He added that the agency would draw on a wide swath of experience from "blogging, technology, and entertainment marketing to corporate social responsibility, corporate reputation management and consumer and influencer marketing."
Tsokanos said the agency would serve Heineken's strong dedication to CSR matters from its offices in New York and Atlanta.
"Obviously Heineken prides itself on responsibility so we're going to be developing innovative programs that continue to push that further and take this brand in to new areas," Tsokanos said.
Tearno said it was too early to say whether its work with MS&L would represent a new PR direction for the company. He also couldn't offer any details about upcoming PR projects. But he said one of the main reasons the company settled on MS&L was because of its wide range of capabilities.
"In all likelihood, it was going to be one agency to do both corporate and brand," Tearno said. "We have a lot of corporate PR and community involvement stuff and responsible consumption activities that we do, along with the usual nuts and bolts work that a corporate PR assignment includes. So we needed an agency that had a broad range of capabilities."