On the heels of his resignation from Miller Brewing, Bruce Winterton has joined Bartle Bogle Hegarty as account director on two recent wins and will lead new business efforts Winterton, 39, last week left his post as brand director of Miller Genuine Draft and Miller High Life.
"He is a rather unique combination," said Ty Montague, creative director at BBH here. "He has a strong background in packaged goods combined with a strong appreciation of the power of ideas." Winterton will oversee BBH's Johnny Walker and Lipton businesses.
Cindy Gallop, president at BBH, denied that Winterton's appointment means that BBH will pursue the troubled $55 million MGD business, at Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore.
Sources have said that Wieden has been in danger of losing the beer account after coming up short twice with new ads under the "Put a keg in your hand" theme. Its first attempt was roundly criticized by wholesalers at a March convention and then hastily retooled under Winterton's supervision and relaunched [Adweek, May 31]. It has since gotten mixed reviews.
With Miller's new brand team in place, an agency shift could follow, sources said. He defended the new ad approach. Winterton said his move was not related to last week's shakeup at Miller that saw an overhaul of its sales and marketing ranks. "I think the management change at Miller and their new strategies are a smart approach to the business," he said.
BBH will be Winterton's first agency experience. "I wanted to be part of the resurgence of the New York ad scene," he said. "And BBH is so different and unique and their whole focus on strategy is so smart, it's a really good fit for what I believe."