MillerCoors Splits with Cavalry, Launches Creative Review

By Patrick Coffee Comment

MillerCoors got a new CMO last month, and what happened next will not surprise you: Coors and its various brands are in review.

This doesn’t just mean that the Coors brand will get a new creative AOR. It also means that Chicago’s Cavalry, which fired its CCO Jim Larmon in May, might never have the chance to choose his successor.

The rhetorical writing was on the wall. One month before Larmon got the axe, the client rejected an entire Lebowski-esque campaign created by Cavalry, the Chicago shop established in 2012 by Marty Stock after he went from managing the account for FCB to using its business to launch his own agency.

Incoming MillerCoors CMO David Kroll, however, doesn’t seem to be as fond of Cavalry as was his predecessor: today he tells AdAge that “it’s frankly just time for a change” and reveals that he has invited three agencies–none of which are owned by WPP–to participate in the closed review.

The move will apparently not affect MillerCoors’ relationships with Leo Burnett (Miller High Life), TBWA (which beat out the former to win Miller Lite last September), or WPP’s Bravo, which landed the Hispanic account in November 2014.

It’s very bad news for Cavalry, though: MillerCoors is the Chicago agency’s only significant client, and its homepage currently features what certainly reads like a requiem.

cavalry

In what cannot possibly come as a surprise to anyone, Kroll tells AdAge that future Coors campaigns will focus on more digital and less TV work.

Overall sales for all MillerCoors products have dropped in recent years, with Coors Light taking a particularly brutal hit. The company’s net income rose in the first quarter of 2015, but sales declined by one percent thanks to “lower demand for its Coors Light beer and some of its more expensive beer brands.” Don’t call it a comeback, because it’s definitely not. Who knew that an increasing number of Americans prefer not to drink shitty beer?!

Good luck to whoever wins this business. No word at the moment on what will happen to Cavalry’s approximately 50 employees.

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