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Coors Light Opts for FCB as Lead Shop

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CHICAGO Molson Coors Brewing is opting to go with a single-agency strategy on traditional advertising for its $120 million Coors Light brand, pulling Deutsch/LA from the business it had shared with Interpublic Group stable mate Foote Cone & Belding for more than two years, sources said.

The move returns FCB to the driver's seat on the brand, which had been the shop's position before Deutsch was added to the brewery's roster in September 2002.

Executives at Molson Coors Brewing have told Deutsch's office in Marina del Rey, Calif., to concentrate on the Aspen Edge low-carb business and continue to do online work for all other brands, sources said.

FCB since September has produced a campaign for Coors Light, pushing it as "The coldest tasting beer in the world."

Deutsch's most recent effort for Aspen Edge was pulled in December after Anheuser-Busch complained that it made unsupported claims about consumer taste preferences. Deutsch was hired by former Coors chief marketing officer Ron Askew, who left the brewery in December. Coors is now operating with an interim CMO, longtime brewery exec Lee Buxton, and is also conducting a search for a U.S. president.

Coors spent $25 million on measured media against Aspen Edge last year; it spent $120 million on Coors Light, the bulk of its total budget of $160 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Coors also works with African American shop Carol H. Williams Advertising in Oakland, Calif., and Publicis Groupe's Bromley Communications in San Antonio.

A Coors representative could not be reached for comment. Agency officials declined comment or referred questions to the brewery.