Shops Receive Heineken RFPs

NEW YORK At least 13 agencies this week received questionnaires from Heineken USA as the client reviews ad chores on its Heineken and Heineken Premium Light brands, sources said. Estimated billings are $80 million.

The incumbents, WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron United (Heineken Premium Light) and Publicis Groupe’s Publicis (Heineken), both in New York, have been invited and plan to participate in the review, sources said. Publicis also handles Amstel Light, which sources said is not part of the review.

Other shops in receipt of the questionnaire include Interpublic Group’s Deutsch and Carmichael Lynch; Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners; Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi; WPP Group’s JWT; MDC-backed Margeotes Fertitta Powell and its sibling Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners; Havas’ Arnold; and independents M&C Saatchi, MMB and StrawberryFrog.

Arnold and MMB are in Boston; Carmichael Lynch is in Minneapolis. The other recipients are in New York.

It is unclear how many shops received the questionnaire, which is due back Aug. 30.

Boston-based consultancy Pile and Co. is managing the process for the White Plains, N.Y., client.

Sources said Heineken would cut to an undetermined number of shops in mid-September, with a conclusion coming by year’s end.

Officials at the shops either could not be reached or declined comment. Client executives did not return calls.

Last month, executives at Heineken’s Amsterdam, Netherlands-based headquarters awarded lead creative duties for the Heineken brand in overseas markets to independent shop The Red Brick Road in London [Adweek Online, July 7].

That agency’s co-founder Frank Lowe was closely associated with Heineken at his former shop, Interpublic Group’s Lowe.

Independent StrawberryFrog in Amsterdam was the incumbent on Heineken’s overseas ad efforts and participated in that review, sources said.

StrawberryFrog, however, continues to handle projects for the client, including ads surrounding the brewer’s sponsorship of the next James Bond movie, Casino Royale. The shop’s New York office is working on that effort.

Last month, a Heineken representative said Red Brick Road would be the “leading agency to develop the communications strategy and key advertising for the Heineken brand worldwide.”