CP+B Comes Out on Top for Molson’s U.S. Business

ATLANTA — Molson Beer & Ale is set to award its $10 million U.S. creative account to Crispin Porter + Bogusky, sources said.

The Miami agency prevailed over finalist Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, following a six-month review. CL was a late entrant after an undisclosed California shop dropped out late last year because of a conflict.

Officials at the agencies either declined comment or referred calls to the client. Molson officials did not return calls.

Bensimon Byrne D’Arcy, Toronto, which had created ads for the North American market, will continue to handle Molson’s Canadian business. That agency did not participate in the review; sister shop D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in New York had contended, but dropped out [Adweek, Oct. 29] six weeks after hiring former Lowe creative Lee Garfinkel as worldwide chief creative officer in September. D’Arcy won Heineken’s $50-60 million account from Lowe last month, without a review.

For Molson, both CP+B and CL presented two campaigns, each of which were heavily tested over the past two months, according to sources. All four efforts scored above average for the company, but CP+B gained the best scores, sources said.

The win comes as CL is starting to transfer its $40 million Ikea account to CP+B. Last month, the latter shop won the Swedish furniture maker’s North American account, following a review in which it bested Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, New York, and San Francisco’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Incumbent CL opted not to participate.

Molson viewed CP+B’s smaller size as a plus, believing the shop could devote more attention to the brewery than a larger shop could, according to sources. CP+B employs 110 people in Miami and eight in Los Angeles.

Molson spent $3 million on U.S. advertising from January to November 2001 and $6 million in 2000, according to CMR.