AB InBev Follows the In-Housing Trend With Rollout of draftLine

With a more in-depth focus on customer response and portfolio work

AB InBev has built up draftLine from 3 employees to more than 50 over the last year. AB InBev

The world’s largest brewer has gone all in on the in-house trend.

AB InBev, the megalith behind Bud Light, Corona, Beck’s, Stella Artois and many more, has built up its own in-house agency called draftLine, which the company says it developed to be closer to the creative process. Although draftLine is not a new operation, its official unveiling came this week.

The New York-based shop will roll out globally, led by vp of consumer connections Joao Chueiri and managed by Spencer Gordon.

“With draftLine, we’ve gained another valuable agency partner. One focused on using data-driven insights to develop creative campaigns with greater personalization and local relevance,” Chueriri said in a statement to Adweek. “The draftLine team has been an incredible asset for our brands, not just in terms of the work they produce, but bringing our entire marketing team closer to the creative process.”

Over the course of a year, draftLine grew from a team of three to more than 50. It expanded its scope from a digital/social agency working on Michelob Ultra to working across the AB InBev portfolio of over 40 brands on a full range of services: OOH, display and radio advertising, email marketing, packaging, audience segmentation, programmatic media buying, analytics, influencer marketing, social listening and community management.

In addition to AB InBev employees transferring to draftLine, the team comprises employees with experience “across agencies, production companies, in-house studios, digital media publishers, and TV networks,” according to a company statement.

AB InBev’s agency partners have been aware of draftLine for some time.

A source close to the matter characterized draftLine’s scope as focused more on customer response and portfolio-driven work than creative or planning, and multiple parties told Adweek that agencies on both the creative and media sides would not lose business as a result of draftLine—at least not immediately.

Although that could change in the months to come, Adweek’s sources seemed unconcerned.

@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.