Brunswick and Golin/Harris on Coors corporate shortlist

Brunswick is pitching head to head with Golin/Harris International to secure the corporate PR brief for beer firm Coors Brewers.

Coors, which controls the UK's best-selling Carling brand, drew up the shortlist of two after an initial six-way pitch for the business, which is believed to be worth around £100,000 a year in fees.

The pitch comes just two months after the US-based Coors group bought Bass Brewers to form the UK Coors beer brand, led by chief executive Peter Kendall, who took up the post in January.

Coors head of communications Lesley Allman confirmed all corporate PR has for the past two years been handled in-house, but said external support was needed to help establish the new brand in the UK.

'After two years of uncertainty over our ownership, there's a lot of confusion out there as to who we are and what we do,' said Allman.

'Although Coors is the third biggest brewer in the US, it's had a minor presence in Europe up until now. This has now changed and we need to bring people's knowledge and understanding up to date,' he added.

While corporate PR has so far been managed in-house, Allman said branding and sponsorship is handled externally - a brief now held by Golin/Harris International.

She added that a decision on the corporate pitch, which will also include public affairs, is expected by the end of the month.

'Coors is listed in New York but has no separate UK listing so there is no real need for investor relations work, but the public affairs and business communities are the people we want to re-establish our relationship with,' said Allman.

The brewing group has for the past two years undergone a raft of changes, sparked off by Interbrew's initial £2.3bn bid for Bass Brewers in 2000.

UK regulators, concerned over Interbrew's hold on the UK beer market, forced the group to sell the England and Wales operation of Bass Brewers as a result of its earlier acquisition of Whitbread's brewing business the same year.

While the remainder of Bass Brewers - the Scottish and Irish divisions - remains with Interbrew, Coors now owns all the England and Wales interests following a £1.2bn takeover deal that completed in February.

The acquisition saw Coors take control of Carling, which has sales of more than one billion pints a year.

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