The decrease in overall loose dollars among food and beverage accounts closely mirrored the year’s new-business drop, but the suds were swirling as SABMiller, Heineken, Beck’s and Corona all bid adieu to some partnerships, amounting to $935 million in billings available. That’s a 470 percent increase for beer accounts over 2005, during which only $200 million shook loose. McCann Worldgroup’s Weiss explained the uptick thus: “Beer consumption in the U.S. is declining. The category is still under pressure from spirits.” This year, $300 million in beer media alone went up for grabs from SABMiller, which ultimately retained Starcom. Creatively, the company shifted Miller Lite and Miller High Life to Crispin Porter + Bogusky, while Young & Rubicam got Genuine Draft. Heineken reunited with Frank Lowe for its overseas work, naming Red Brick Road in London its lead shop, while in June Heineken USA announced a review of Heineken and its new Premium Light ($80 million U.S. combined). A decision is expected in January. ConAgra and Sara Lee provided more than half the $485 million in food dollars up for grabs, while Wieden + Kennedy added Diet Coke ($60 million)last month.
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