Budweiser consumer brief is put out to pitch

Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch (A-B) is staging a UK consumer PR pitch for its Budweiser brand.

Budweiser consumer brief is put out to pitch

The account is currently held jointly by Consolidated Communications and Cake, both of which are understood to be involved in the repitch.

In a statement, A-B said: 'We have invited a number of companies, including our retained PR agencies, to submit proposals for Budweiser PR business for 2003.'

Both incumbent agencies refused to comment on the re-pitch, which is set to conclude within the next month.

Similarly, A-B PR manager Lesley Laity, who reports to marketing director Randall Blackford, would not be drawn on the duration or reason for the re-pitch.

In January 2000, A-B split its consumer PR work between two agencies - GCI and Consolidated - to reflect what it said were the increasingly diverse PR needs of the brands and their associated events (PRWeek, 21 January 2000).

GCI - which had worked on the brand for around 12 years - ceased to work for A-B from the start of 2001, when Cake was hired.

Consolidated has handled PR campaigns for Budweiser's football sponsorship.

A recent example was this summer's Budweiser Cup, a bespoke football tournament for which amateur football teams travelled to the Far East for an event set up to co-incide with Bud's sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup finals.

Meanwhile, Cake has worked on Budweiser's sponsorship of music events, for example handling press relations at the annual V music festivals.

A-B - whose UK headquarters are in Mortlake, west London - two months ago lost a Court of Appeal ruling on brand-name usage against Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar.

The ruling, the latest in a long-standing global dispute between the two companies and their similarly-named brands, means both retain the rights to use the same Bud and Budweiser names in the UK.

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