3 Pursue Stella Artois

NEW YORK InBev has selected the London offices of Euro RSCG, Mother and Publicis to compete for global creative duties on its Stella Artois brand, sources said.

The brand’s global major media spending exceeded $40 million last year, according to sources.

Interpublic Group’s Lowe, which has handled Stella Artois for 26 years, declined an invitation to defend. The account was led creatively by Matthew Bull, chairman of Lowe Bull in South Africa, who said, “We’re sorry that it has come to an end. But it happens.”

Bull added that Lowe “did absolutely magnificent work. We had some great times with lots of people at InBev and Interbrew.”

An InBev representative declined comment.

Globally, the agency’s work uses the slogan, “Perfection has its price.” The tagline in the U.K., where the brand has plateaued of late, is, “Reassuringly expensive.”

Mother, an independent, recently picked up U.K. creative duties on a lighter version of Stella Artois with an alcohol content of 4 percent. That assignment came after the client tested work from Lowe and Mother.

Final presentations on the main Stella Artois brand are slated for next month.

InBev is in the process of acquiring Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion. The deal is expected to close by year’s end and the combined company will be called Anheuser-Busch InBev.