Following the walkout of a key marketing executive, Boston Beer Co. is talking to shops about a broadcast project, calling into question the status of lead agency Carmichael Lynch.
Among the agencies in contact with the client are Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Arnold Communications, both in Boston, and New York's Gotham. "I wouldn't call this a full-scale review and the process is definitely closed," said Boston Beer representative Sally Jackson. A decision is expected by next month. "This may or may not lead to something larger," Jackson said, adding, "One can hope." Of Carmichael, Jackson said, "They're still on board."
One source said it was unclear whether the Minneapolis shop would fight to keep the Sam Adams brand broadcast and print advertising account, "given the current state of unrest." That task is estimated to be worth $10-15 million. Another source said, "It's really unclear what Carmichael's role will be going forward."
The "unrest" included the May resignation of vice president, brand development John Chappell, who has not been replaced. He oversaw Sam Adams' network TV debut via Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore., tagged, "A better glass of beer." Shortly after, the account was moved to Carmichael. In April, Carmichael spots aired linking consumers' personal goals to the quality of the beer, themed, "All in due time." That effort also appeared to fall flat. "We swung for the fences and we missed," an agency source said [Brandweek, May 25].
Chappell also moved media duties from Western International Media to MBS in New York.--with staff report