Sam Adams Trims List To 3

Arnold, Hill, McCann Advance in Boston Beer Review
BOSTON–The brewer of Samuel Adams has informed three agencies that their creative ideas would be tested and a final decision rendered by early August.
Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Arnold Communications, both in Boston, and McCann-Erickson in New York advanced in the review for Boston Beer Co.’s estimated $10-12 million account.
The craft brewer will test the creative ideas submitted by the shops while giving them the opportunity to improve their work, said Boston Beer representative Sally Jackson. “We’re doing a lot of research to make it . . . more on target.” All the contenders requested additional time to revise their campaign suggestions.
The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and Gotham in New York withdrew from consideration before the finalists were announced.
Holland Mark Martin Edmund in Boston and Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners in New York were “discouraged from proceeding,” Jackson said.
The original contenders were asked by Boston Beer to reposition the company’s flagship Sam Adams brand to a more youthful audience. Of the storyboards presented by the three agencies still in the running, Jackson said, “Metaphorically speaking, we gave each of these agencies the same bag of groceries and all have become back with three different meals.”
Boston Beer last month severed ties with Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, which in April broke a TV campaign for Sam Adams using the tagline, “All in due time.” The decision to review resulted from a desire to find a new agency and a new position.
“It’s a pivotal time for us,” Jackson said. “It takes a lot of thought and knowledge and it’s really hard to do good beer advertising.”
Agency sources said Boston Beer founder Jim Koch has been hands-on throughout the review process and that what the company needs and what Koch is willing to buy may be different. “It’s a delicate balancing act,” one source said.