Deutsch Bellies Up to the Bar

Coors Brewing Co. and Deutsch are close to finalizing a contract that would give the agency a place on the brewery’s roster, sources said.

The key issues still under discussion between Coors and the agency, whose Los Angeles office would handle the business, are the scope of the assignment and compensation.

Under one proposal, Deutsch would work on all brands alongside Coors incumbent Foote, Cone & Belding, sources said. That scenario is similar to how Anheuser-Busch works with DDB and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, which share Budweiser. The other, more traditional approach would be for Coors to assign specific brands to each agency. Both ideas were still on the table at press time on Friday.

The brewery spends about $200 million annually on advertising. Last year, $120 million of that was devoted to marketing Coors Light; $40 million went to Coors, according to CMR.

Eric Hirshberg, evp and creative director at Deutsch LA, declined comment. A Coors representative said the brewery is “still evaluating some things,” but said it is “not that far” from a decision.

Deutsch and Havas’ Arnold in Boston pitched ideas after the brewer said it was seeking a “secondary provider of concepts” to FCB [Adweek, July 8]. The selected agency has been expected to work primarily on projects related to the major brands, Coors and Coors Light, sources said. Deutsch, like FCB, is part of Interpublic Group.

The decision to seek an additional shop to complement FCB was made by chief marketing officer Ron Askew. Askew, who joined Coors last year from Omnicom’s Integer Group, wants to have agencies compete for creative assignments, which is similar to how A-B works with multiple shops on its major brands, sources said. Askew was unavailable for comment.

The most recent work from FCB has oscillated between warm and fuzzy spots featuring Peter H. Coors walking through the snow and fast-paced ads aimed at a younger audience.