Anheuser-Busch InBev still hasn't selected an agency to handle its Bud Light creative business, but the winner definitely won't be longtime lead agency DDB.
The brewer has told DDB that the shop is no longer a contender, meaning that in the span of two years, DDB has lost its lead creative status on both Budweiser and Bud Light.
The Omnicom Group shop remains on the A-B InBev roster, however, handling some creative assignments and distribution of work overseas. That business is relatively small, though, and DDB may opt to cut ties with the marketer to pursue rival brands. The agency's relationship with the brewer spans about three decades.
"We've had a long, prosperous relationship," said DDB North American president Mark O'Brien. "We're very disappointed to see [Bud Light] go, but they decided to go in a new direction.
A-B vp of marketing Paul Chibe acknowledged the cut, adding, “We appreciate all the great work DDB has done for Anheuser-Busch over the years and they will always hold a special place in the history of building our business.”
The status of Bud Light’s other creative agency—Cannonball—could not be determined. Last year, the brand’s media spending exceeded $300 million, according to Nielsen. That figure does not include online outlays.
A handful of unidentified agencies remain in contention for the Bud Light assignment, with more presentations taking place this week. A selection could come in the next few days.