LONDON Lowe confirmed parting ways with Anheuser-Busch InBev's global Beck's creative account, thereby eliminating the agency from the company's roster. Last year, the IPG shop lost the A-B InBev's Stella Artois brand.
The split had to some extent been expected following Publicis New York's resignation this week of its Corona Light assignment after just one month with the Crown Imports brand. That move occurred after it was revealed that its agency parent had entered into talks with AB InBev about the Beck's account, raising conflict concerns.
When Lowe won the global account in 2007, major media spending was estimated at more than $40 million.
Lowe, which worked on the business for the last two years, created the "Different by choice" campaign for the premium brand.
"Lowe was definitely a key partner in helping Beck's achieve growth. After a successful two-year partnership with Lowe, we felt we are parting ways on great terms, at the right juncture," Frank Abenante, global vp, brands at AB InBev, said in a statement.
As for Corona Light, a Crown spokesman declined to say which new agency has picked up the business, formerly at independent Chicago shop Cramer-Krasselt before Publicis added the account without a review.
The rep said: "We are on schedule to have great new creative to appear in 2010 for Corona Light and we are also planning to increase our support behind this brand next year to leverage its growth trends."
While C-K retains its duties on the Corona Extra brand, Chicago-based Crown's new marketing head Jim Sabia has been shaking up his agency roster since arriving in January. Earlier this month, Sabia, a longtime Coors executive, launched a review to consolidate buying and planning with a media-only agency for 2010. The media assignment, which has mainly been handled by C-K, covers the Corona Light, Corona Extra, Model Especial, Pacifica and Negra Modelo brands. He also tapped Miami independent La Comunidad as Crown's Hispanic agency for Corona Extra and Modelo Especial, replacing Interpublic's Casanova Pendrill Publicidad.