FCB Could Get Company on Coors

Coors Brewing Co. is looking to add a new agency to its roster. The company last week confirmed that it is talking to shops about its $200 million advertising account.

Hilary Martin, a representative for the Golden, Colo., brewer, said it had approached agencies about add ing a “secondary provider of concepts” on its brands, which include Coors, Coors Light, Killian’s and Zima.

“If they yield interesting ideas, it would lead to [giving them] incremental business,” Martin said. Incumbent Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago, an Interpublic Group shop, also has been asked to present ideas, she said. FCB officials could not be reached.

Martin declined to specify which other or how many agencies have been approached, but said Coors is looking at both IPG and non-IPG shops. “It is customary for companies of our size to tap into several agencies,” she said.

Coors is the No. 3 domestic brewer behind Anheuser-Busch Cos. and Mil ler Brewing Co. Both of those companies use multiple shops.

“We are very happy with the work we have been doing with [FCB],” Martin said. “We don’t anticipate any cutback in FCB’s business.”

FCB in March bowed a campaign for Coors that features a new tagline, “Rock on,” which targets twenty somethings. The tag replaced “Be original.” The same month, Coors paid a reported $300 million to be the “official beer sponsor” for the National Football League. Martin would not say if the search for an additional shop was related to that deal.

Last week, new work for Coors Light, starring the brewery’s chairman and longtime spokesperson Pete Coors, broke via the agency.

The review comes less than a year after Ron Askew joined Coors as chief marketing officer. Askew had been CEO of Omnicom-owned promotion firm Integer Group in Golden.

FCB Worldwide CEO Brendan Ryan is trying to boost the shop’s roster after losing more than $1 billion in billings over the past year from cli ents such as AT&T Wireless, Compaq and Quaker Oats Co. Since May, the agency has added about $100 million in billings from Trane [see page 20] and the Internal Revenue Service.

The search is unrelated to Coors’ review for a Hispanic shop. Vying for that $10-20 million account are Bromley Communications and Cartel Creativo, both San Antonio, and Publicis Sanchez & Levitan, Dallas [Adweek, June 17]. That decision is expected this month.