Heineken in UK public affairs, PR review

The brewer behind Heineken, Foster's, and Strongbow is reviewing its public affairs work as well as talking to agencies about a PR push focused on its contribution to the UK economy.

LONDON: The brewer behind Heineken, Foster's, and Strongbow is reviewing its public affairs work as well as talking to agencies about a PR push focused on its contribution to the UK economy.

Heineken UK has shortlisted a small number of agencies after a wider pitch. The account covers public affairs, overseen by Burson-Marsteller since early 2010, and is thought to include a significant new PR element.

One agency source said that a part of the work, which could be divided between more than one agency, would focus on the “positive aspects” of Heineken's contribution to the UK.

“It wants to make quite a big deal out of the fact that it is a responsible company, which, for example, doesn't make super-strength ciders,” the source said. “It also wants to highlight the contribution Heineken makes in terms of employment and the economy.”

Last month, Heineken UK reported a 3% drop in revenue to £1.55 billion, about $2.5 billion, but grew its share of the beer market.

This summer, the brewing industry was subject to a government U-turn as plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol were put on hold amid fears of the impact on responsible drinkers.

There have also been calls to ban alcohol advertising at and sponsorship of music and sporting events, with alcohol issues nonprofit Alcohol Concern pressing for the change.

Heineken UK, which declined to comment, is a part of Heineken, the largest brewer in Europe and the third-largest in the world.

Burson declined to comment.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.

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