Mcgarrybowen Wins $40-50 Mil. Brahma Beer Business


NEW YORK Independent mcgarrybowen has won creative duties on InBev's Brahma beer, a Brazilian brand that the client plans to market globally, the client confirmed on Thursday.

The win came after a review in which Interpublic Group's Lowe was the other finalist, said sources.

Billings have not been determined, but sources pegged ad spending at $40-50 million.

Since mcgarrybowen is a domestic agency with a single office in New York, its work will likely be distributed by other InBev roster shops, said Brent Willis, chief commercial officer at the Leuven, Belgium-based company. The first work, which will run on six continents, is expected mid-year.

"We're launching a movement. We're launching a new attitude that's about the real Brazil," said Willis. "And these guys [at mcgarrybowen] are great at helping us make that come alive."

Mcgarrybowen, whose principals include former top Young & Rubicam executives John McGarry and Gordon Bowen, had previously designed a logo for InBev, which was formed last year via the merger of Interbrew and AmBev. Lowe's pitch was led by its London office, which handles creative duties on InBev's Stella Artois, said sources. Lowe declined comment.

The finalists emerged late last month after five agencies made creative presentations to the client at a hotel in New York, said sources. The other shops were WPP Group's HHCL/Red Cell in London, Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi in New York and Leo Burnett in Chicago, according to sources. The agencies either declined comment or could not be reached.

Brahma, which to date has been marketed primarily in Latin America, came from the AmBev portfolio and is seen as "their play to compete with Corona," said a source.

InBev claims to be the largest brewer by volume in the world. Its other brands include Stella Artois, Beck's, Bass, Rolling Rock and Staropramen.