Heineken Eyes 6 Shops

BOSTON Six agencies have advanced in the ongoing review for ad chores on Heineken USA’s Lager and Premium Light brands, per sources. Estimated billings are $80 million.

Still alive are the incumbents, WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron United (Premium Light) and Publicis Groupe’s Publicis (Heineken Lager), as well as Havas’ Arnold, Interpublic Group’s The Martin Agency, WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather and independent M&C Saatchi, according to sources. Publicis also handles Heineken’s Amstel Light, which is not part of the review.

Arnold is based in Boston and Martin is in Richmond, Va. The others are pitching out of their New York offices.

Other shops in receipt of the questionnaire from review consultancy Pile and Co. included IPG’s Deutsch and Carmichael Lynch; Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners; Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi; WPP’s JWT; MDC-backed Margeotes Fertitta Powell and its sibling Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners; and independents MMB and StrawberryFrog, per sources.

Agency and client executives either declined comment or could not immediately be reached.

A decision is expected by month’s end. Pile and Co. could not be reached for comment.

This summer executives at Heineken’s Amsterdam, Netherlands-based headquarters awarded lead creative duties for the Heineken brand in overseas markets to independent shop The Red Brick Road in London [Adweek Online, July 7].

That agency’s co-founder, Frank Lowe, was closely associated with Heineken at his former shop, IPG’s Lowe. StrawberryFrog in Amsterdam was the incumbent on Heineken’s overseas ad efforts and participated in that review, sources said.

StrawberryFrog, however, continues to handle projects for the client, including ads surrounding the brewer’s sponsorship of the next James Bond movie, Casino Royale. The shop’s New York office is working on that effort.

Heineken has said Red Brick Road would be the “leading agency to develop the communications strategy and key advertising for the Heineken brand worldwide.”

This story updates an item posted earlier today with a revised and expanded list of contenders.