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Lachky to Lead A-B Creative

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CHICAGO Bob Lachky, once Anheuser-Busch's advertising chief, is returning to oversee all creative output from the brewer and its stable of agencies, the company confirmed.

Lachky was vice president of brand management at the St. Louis company until August 2005, when he was promoted to executive vice president of industry development. In that new post, Lachky worked as the company's representative to raise the beer industry's profile among the general public.

The upshot was an effort tagged, "Here's to beer," which enlisted filmmaker Spike Lee, who asked drinkers the question, "If you could have a beer with anyone, who would it be?"

In his new A-B position, Lachky will maintain his industry development duties, as well as manage advertising and agency relations for the brewer's portfolio of brands, which include Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob.

When Lachky was promoted last year, vp brand development Marlene Coulis, a 13-year veteran of the company, took on creative oversight at A-B, becoming the first woman at the company to do so. She will remain with the brewer and focus on brand strategy, positioning and marketing department management.

"As we continue to expand our portfolio of brands and adjust our methods of advertising to meet the needs of today's consumers, we have created a winning combination, using the unique skills of two of our best marketers," the company said in a statement. "These changes place us in a better position to grow our business and stay ahead of what consumers expect from our brands."

A-B's agencies include Omnicom Group shops DDB in Chicago, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif.

The company spent $625 million on advertising last year and nearly $400 million through the first seven months of 2006, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.