Shops Head North for Lemonade Showdown

LOS ANGELES At least three agencies contending for the estimated $10-15 million Mike’s Hard Lemonade advertising account are expected to make final presentations early next week, according to sources.

Shops said to be vying for the account include Interpublic Group’s Sedgwick Rd., Seattle, and independents Doner, Southfield, Mich., and incumbent The Ad Store, New York. Sources said presentations are scheduled for Monday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 15, and would be held in Vancouver, B.C., home of Mike’s parent corporation, the Mark Anthony Group.

An agency selection should be made by the beginning of April, sources said.

No one from Mike’s suburban Denver headquarters was immediately available for comment. The company has on several occasions referred advertising-related inquires to Los Angeles-based consultant Kelton Research. While Kelton has confirmed a relationship with Mike’s, the firm would not offer additional details [Adweek Online, March 3, 2005].

According to a statement issued last month, Mike’s headquarters will relocate to Seattle’s Pioneer Square this spring as part of a company expansion plan. Mike’s also reported it would add more than 30 new employees to its sales, finance, marketing and human resources departments within the year.

Founded in 1999, Mike’s contracts a small group of regional brewers to produce more than 11 million cases of its fruity malt beverages annually, currently available in lemon, cranberry-lemon and lime flavors, as well as lower-calorie and iced tea versions.