Butler’s Win Surprises Foes In Brew Review

Butler, Shine & Stern of Sausalito, Calif., was the unexpected winner of Scottish & Newcastle Importer’s estimated $2-4 million account.
The award comes as a surprise, especially to contenders Hoffman/Lewis, Zoo Advertising and Amazon Advertising, all in San Francisco, because it was not known that Butler was vying for the account. The client has maintained that only three agencies were participating in the review.
“Butler, Shine & Stern has been awarded our account,” said client representative Bill Wetmore. “We were very impressed by their presentation. All the contenders did a fine job.”
When asked if the agency had entered the pitch later than the other contenders, Wetmore replied, “Butler, Shine & Stern has been in the review from day one. We have no other comment at this time.”
The secrecy could have been an effort to protect the interests of Butler, Shine & Stern. It has worked in the past on Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Ice brand. More recently, the shop developed a limited print and radio campaign to launch A-B’s Brazilian import beer, Rio Cristal, in test markets in the Southeast.
Executives at the agency insisted their involvement was not kept secret for that or any other reason. “Our arrangement with Anheuser-Busch is that we work with them on a project basis only,” said agency principal and president Greg Stern. “So there is no conflict of interest with Anheuser-Busch and our new account with Scottish & Newcastle. It just didn’t come to light that we were in the review until the end.”
Neither agency nor client would comment on when a new campaign would launch, but sources said it will likely break this fall. Butler will develop print and radio advertising for several of the importer’s brands, which include Newcastle Brown Ale and MacEwan’s Scotch Ale. This is the first time the San Francisco-based client has worked exclusively with a U.S. agency.