JWT Foster’s Bow Set for March

J. Walter Thompson’s debut campaign for Foster’s Lager, initially expected to break this month, won’t air until March, brewery and agency officials said.

The delay is blamed on preholiday production hangups in Sydney, Australia, as well as the extra time it is taking to carry out a new marketing strategy and subtle repositioning of the brand, said Marilyn Herkowski, a representative for Miller Brewing, the Milwaukee-based distributor of Foster’s in the United States.

JWT’s spots for the brand, previously handled by Angotti Thomas Hedge in New York, will employ the “Australian for beer” tag. While the new campaign will keep Foster’s distinctive, it will have more contemporary, cosmopolitan imagery, said dennis Ryan, JWT’s executive creative director.

“The old campaign is very well-liked and we want to keep the feel that Foster’s is a fun beer to drink,” he said.

In October, Foster’s restructured its North American beer business, signed new agreements with Miller Brewing and increased its media budget to about $25 million. The brand was subsequently assigned to Miller roster shop JWT, which handles Miller Genuine Draft.