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Deutsch, A-B Confirm Relationship

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NEW YORK Anheuser-Busch's hiring of Deutsch this week came without a pitch and three years after the agency ended its tenure on rival brand Coors Light.

Deutsch's New York office will work for A-B and its first effort is expected to break in October. The agency confirmed the hiring but declined to give details about the nature of the business, as did an A-B representative, who said the shop would work on a "variety of creative assignments."

Deutsch's Marina del Rey, Calif., office worked on Coors Light between 2002 and 2005, creating the popular "Wingman" campaign, which depicted how one twentysomething guy aided a friend's pursuit of a woman at a club. The spots featured a narrator who sang and played acoustic guitar.

The hire is intriguing in that it comes amid InBev's $52 billion acquisition of A-B, which will result in a combined roster of more than a half-dozen creative agencies, including InBev shops like Interpublic Group's Lowe and Havas' Euro RSCG and A-B shops such as Omnicom Group units DDB, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and LatinWorks. The deal is expected to close by year's end and the combined company will be called Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Last year, A-B spent more than $480 million in major measured media in the U.S., while InBev's outlay was nearly $55 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. In the first quarter of 2008, A-B's spend exceeded $150 million and InBev's was nearly $8 million, per Nielsen