Carlsberg UK toasts new retained comms agency

Carlsberg UK has appointed Golin as its PR agency partner, aligning its brand and corporate PR through one agency for the first time, PRWeek can reveal.

Mads Mikkelsen starred in Carlsberg ads to relaunch its pilsner in the UK
Mads Mikkelsen starred in Carlsberg ads to relaunch its pilsner in the UK

The account moves from Clifford French, which held it for five years. During that time Clifford French led Carlsberg's football sponsorship campaigns, premium activations for San Miguel and the Mean Tweets campaign for Carlsberg Danish Pilsner.

Golin will commence work in January and report to the brewer's vice-president of marketing, Liam Newton, and head of corporate affairs Andrew Roache.

The agency will handle consumer PR for brands including Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, Carlsberg Export, San Miguel and Mahou across sponsorship assets including 02 Academies, Live Nation festivals, Glastonbury, Somerset House and Classic Ibiza.

The agency will also support on Carlsberg UK’s sustainability programme, Together Towards Zero, and drive awareness of its Snap Pack packaging format, which reduces the amount of plastic used and removes the familiar plastic rings from multipacks.

"We were impressed by Golin’s consumer and corporate communications credentials and its sharp focus on measurement, which was the best we came across," Roache said.

"Most consumers know Carlsberg is probably the best beer in the world, but there’s a much more we want to share about our beer brands and our sustainability efforts. We’re passionate about the beers we brew and Golin share this passion, making them the right partner for us."

Carlsberg UK’s other agency partners include Initiative for media buying, Be Heard for digital across its beer brand portfolio, and creative agencies Fold7, for Carlsberg brands, and Pablo, for San Miguel.

In March, Carlsberg UK relaunched its Carlsberg Danish Pilsner brand in a widely praised campaign that admitted its UK-brewed beer had lost its way.

PR bosses praised the honesty of the Danish brewer, with W Communications deputy MD Sophie Raine commenting: "As consumers continue to crave authenticity from brands, nothing screams it more than declaring your product used to taste like cat piss."

The brewer changed its beer recipe, stating it had been 'rebrewed from head to hop', and launched a Mean Tweets social media drive, which culminated in an integrated ad campaign across outdoor, print and digital stating that Carlsberg was 'Probably Not' the best beer in the world, a play on its iconic slogan.

The brewer also launched a TV campaign fronted by Mads Mikkelsen called ‘The Lake’.

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