Anheuser-Busch has pulled its Bud Light Hispanic creative account from eight-year incumbent Bromley, Aguilar & Associates in San Antonio as part of an ongoing effort to reduce agency costs.
Creative for the Bud Light brand has been shifted to Castor Advertising, New York, which already handles Hispanic work for the Budweiser brand. Media will remain in-house, sources said.
Hispanic media support for Bud Light totaled $8 million last year, according to a Bromley, Aguilar representative. A source estimated Anheuser-Busch's Hispanic spending for Budweiser at $2 million.
Alejandro Ruelas, the client's director of ethnic marketing, did not return calls by press time.
The move to Castor ends a 15-year association between the St. Louis-based brewer and the San Antonio shop, according to agency president and chief creative officer Al Aguilar. The shop's first work for A-B was on corporate advertising.
Aguilar said he was stunned to receive the news during a meeting with A-B marketing executives two weeks ago. "We were called up for a meeting in St. Louis. We thought it was business as usual, but that's when we got the news that they were cutting us," Aguilar said. "In a word, I was shocked. I think the work we've done for them is outstanding."
Aguilar said he offered to temporarily reduce his fees to maintain the relationship. An-heuser-Busch executives rejected the offer but left open the possibility of project work.
The brewer last month eliminated the retainers of three other ad agencies: The Glennon Co. and Schupp Co., both located in St. Louis, and Washington/ Daniel Advertising in Chicago [Adweek, Sept. 29].
Glennon's Michelob business was shifted to The Leap Partnership, Chicago. Schupp's retainer was for Bud Light, Washington/Daniel's for King Cobra and other malt liquor brands. All three shops may continue to work with Anheuser-Busch on a project basis.