Heineken Taps StrawberryFrog

NEW YORK Heineken said it has added StrawberryFrog to its global agency roster following a shootout between the independent shop and Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson.

McCann in London and StrawberryFrog in Amsterdam and New York emerged as finalists for the assignment following the elimination two weeks ago of Havas’ WCRS in London [Adweek Online, Aug. 10].

“At the end of the day it was a very close decision. They have a really clear understanding of the brand,” said Nicole McNaughton, senior communications officer at Heineken.

StrawberryFrog will craft a worldwide brand campaign for the client that will break next year, McNaughton said.

StrawberryFrog joins WPP Group’s Bates (which handles Asian assignments) and Publicis (which handles work domestically) on the roster. StrawberryFrog is already handling a global assignment that promotes Heineken’s sponsorship of UEFA Cup soccer, but that work is separate from the global brand assignment.

Wieden + Kennedy in Amsterdam, which had been handling Heineken in “numerous markets around the world,” resigned the business shortly after the beer maker launched the review in June.

The client’s U.S. ad spending last year was $75 million, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.