MillerCoors Moves Digital and Social Media for Miller Lite From DigitasLBi to DDB Chicago After 10 Years

Omnicom wins more of the beer giant's business

Miller Light remains one of the three best-selling beers in America. Getty Images
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Today, MillerCoors confirmed earlier reports regarding the status of its Miller Lite business after finalizing its relationship with the brand’s new digital and social media agency of record, DDB Chicago.

It marks a major coup for Omnicom, which had already been working on Miller Lite by way of its agency 180LA.

“As of this week, Miller Lite is moving their digital creative work from Digitas to DDB Chicago,” wrote a company spokesperson. “MillerCoors will continue to work with Digitas on the technical side of the business as they provide maintenance and digital production for MillerCoors’ websites and platforms.”

Last week, representatives countered widespread rumors about the business by stating that “[DDB has] not won the business nor has any final decision been made.” It would now appear that MillerCoors had indeed agreed to establish a relationship with the Chicago office but was not ready to share that information publicly before finalizing the specifics of its contract.

Spokespeople for both agencies have not yet responded to queries about the business.

Just over 10 years ago, DigitasLBi Chicago won a formal review to handle all digital marketing work for what was then known as Miller Brewing, owner of Miller Lite and Miller Genuine Draft. MillerCoors does not, however, always issue formal RFPs when considering new agencies for its biggest brands. Lead creative status on Miller Lite went from TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles to 180LA in April 2016, for example, without a review. The latter agency, which just announced plans to relocate from its Santa Monica, Calif., headquarters to a new office in nearby Playa Vista, continues to work on the brand. According to a source with direct knowledge of the matter, the agency and client recently met to review a soon-to-be-released Miller Lite broadcast campaign.

DigitasLBi will continue working on the more technical aspects of the Miller Lite business, which has been one of its largest accounts. The office recently split with Sprint after nearly six years as part of the telecom company’s efforts to take more of its marketing work in house. It was also part of a Publicis umbrella group that won the Mattel agency review in February.

Kantar Media’s latest numbers have MillerCoors spending approximately $130 million to $150 million on measured media promoting Miller Lite in 2016 and 2015, respectively. It is not clear exactly how much of those totals went to digital and social media marketing.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.