$70 Mil. Heineken in Play

CHICAGO Heineken USA has tapped consultant Pile and Co. to handle a creative review for its Heineken Lager and Heineken Premium Light accounts, according to the company. The brewer spends an estimated $70 million annually on U.S. advertising.

Publicis Groupe’s Publicis USA and WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron United handle advertising for the two Heineken labels.

“As Heineken continues to grow, it is important that we evaluate key agency relationships such as these, and ensure that we have the best resources in place to support the long-term objectives for the brand,” said Andy Glaser, Heineken brand director, in a statement. “After much consideration and to build upon the greater Heineken Brand equity, we have decided to consolidate advertising for both Heineken Lager and Heineken Premium Light.”

Both incumbent agencies said they would participate in the review, according to a client representative. The White Plains, N.Y., company expects to have a decision by January 2007, according to the rep.

Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest USA handles media planning and buying for both brands. Those chores are not in play.

Boston-based Pile could not be immediately reached. Publicis has handled the Heineken brand for about four years. Berlin Cameron won the Heineken Premium Light launch last December after a review.

Heineken earlier this month awarded global creative duties on its brand to Red Brick Road, the independent agency started by Frank Lowe in London [Adweek, July 7]. RBR’s assignment was only for the Heineken brand and did not include Heineken Light, though regional agencies such as Publicis were expected to adapt their campaigns to fit RBR’s Heineken strategy.