Heineken Looks at 5 Contenders

NEW YORK Five agencies have advanced in the review for Heineken USA’s Heineken Lager and Heineken Premium Light brands, according to sources.

Moving ahead, per sources, are the incumbents, WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron United (Premium Light) and Publicis Groupe’s Publicis (Heineken Lager), as well as WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather and independents The Richards Group and Wieden + Kennedy. The latter two shops are respectively based in Dallas and Portland, Ore.; the others are headquartered in New York.

Out of contention are Havas’ Arnold in Boston, Interpublic Group’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and independent M&C Saatchi in New York.

Estimated billings on the work in play are $80 million.

Publicis also handles Heineken’s Amstel Light, which is not part of the review.

Agency and client executives either declined comment or could not immediately be reached. A winner will be named in December. Consultancy Pile and Co. in Boston is guiding the process.

Wieden had handled Miller High Life for about a decade before the brand’s recent shift to Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami [Adweek Online, Sept. 22].

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.”