It’s Official: Beck’s Holds Review

LOS ANGELES Beck’s today said it would hold a review for its creative chores, confirming news reported by on Friday.

Belgium-based Frank Abenante, vp of global brands for Beck’s owner InBev, will oversee the process, said Doug Corbett, president of InBev USA. The timetable for the review has not been determined.

Incumbent Ground Zero here, which won the business one year ago following a pitch, will not defend, sources said.

Last November, InBev signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Anheuser-Busch in the U.S. that covers Beck’s.

Though it has typically spent an estimated $40 million annually on domestic advertising, the client last year spent $22 million in U.S. media, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Before independent Ground Zero, Beck’s had been with Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in Chicago since 2002.

When it was in review last year, sources said Burnett, Interpublic Group’s Lowe and Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty were also among the contenders for the business.

“There’s no secret it has been a difficult transitional period with the InBev brands coming into the Anheuser-Busch network,” said Benj Steinman, editor, Beer Marketer’s Insights. “There were supply issues, for example, and typical transitional issues. In general Beck’s has been a slower-growing import compared to others. They have not participated in the robust growth of the import segment.”

Citing IRI data, Steinman said Beck’s supermarket sales were down 8.5 percent year to date.

This story updates an item posted on July 19 with client confirmation and additional details.