Miller to Shift Some Lite Duties

Miller Brewing has confirmed that it has withdrawn an estimated $20-25 million creative account from Square One. A major portion of that business will be handed to roster shop LatinWorks, according to sources.

Square One previously handled Texas regional branding work for Miller Lite, as well as national Hispanic marketing through its wholly owned Uno Comunicaciones unit. The agency will now handle only the Icehouse brand and some isolated projects, sources said. Austin, Texas-based LatinWorks, the Latino marketing agency for Miller Genuine Draft beer, has been given the national Hispanic portion of Miller Lite. The agency now handling Texas regional advertising could not immediately be determined.

A Miller representative confirmed that Miller Lite has been moved from Square One but declined to provide further details. Alejandro Ruelas, managing partner of LatinWorks, also declined comment, referring questions to the client.

The defection of Square One’s founding client threw the agency into turmoil last week. Three of the agency’s five partners voted to demote co-founder and chief executive Tom Hansen, along with creative director Tim Murphy; and to place Bob Nichol, head of the agency’s Southwest Media division, at the helm. Nichol’s media group was recently successful in gaining the $60-80 million broadcast buying account of Dillard’s. Neither Nichol nor other executives at the agency responded to requests for comment.

Today the Dallas agency also began laying off an undisclosed number of employees in response to the loss of Miller Lite, sources said.