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A-B Expands Roster

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Mike Sheehan and Bryan Sweeney's previous tenures at DDB Chicago led Anheuser-Busch to hire their current shop, Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, on a project basis. The Boston agency's first assignment is to create a spot for possible use during the Super Bowl.

It's the first time the St. Louis brewer has solicited work from Hill, Holliday. The spot, should it make the final cut, will feature the Clydesdale horses, said Bob Lachky, A-B's vp of brand management and director of global brand creative.

Sheehan, president of Hill, Holliday, was a group creative director at DDB for nine months before coming to Boston in May 2000. He was promoted to the top post at the agency last December. Sweeney spent a decade in various producer-level positions at DDB, working mainly on Bud Light. Sheehan brought him to Hill, Holiday earlier this month as svp, director of broadcast.

"We have been in contact with Mike since he left and knew Bryan really well," Lachky said. "We tend to follow these guys and, being so highly regulated and scrutinized, we like to go with people who know us and our process."

Sheehan approached A-B about doing work, Lachky said. The brewer typically uses Omnicom Group agencies DDB and Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, for the bulk of its advertising needs.

Lachky admitted that going with an additional shop outside of Omnicom to work on the same brand may stir relationships with existing agencies.

However, since former DDB employees are being used, it should lessen the blow, Lachky said.