Heineken Makes Room for 2 More

NEW YORK Two additional agencies have emerged as semifinalists in the review for Heineken USA’s Heineken Lager and Heineken Premium Light brands, bringing the total to eight, per sources.

The new additions are: The Richards Group in Dallas and Wieden + Kennedy, pitching from its New York and Portland, Ore., offices, sources said. Both shops are independents.

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

The other six agencies include 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’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. The agencies referred calls to the client.

Other shops in receipt of the questionnaire from Pile and Co. in Boston 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 winner will be named in December.

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.”