Miller Begins Review

CHICAGO Miller Brewing has targeted five agencies it would like to pitch for creative duties on its $175 million Miller Lite and High Life advertising accounts, a company representative confirmed.

He would not name the agencies. The company has contracted search consultant Joanne Davis to handle the search.

Deb Boyda, vp, content for Miller, will handle the search internally for the Milwaukee company, the representative said. The brewer parted with MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami on the brands last month.

While the representative would not name the agencies that have been invited to pitch the account, Miller’s roster agencies include WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam in Chicago (which handles Miller Genuine Draft) and independent Mother in New York (which handles Milwaukee’s Best). Both agencies were expected to be invited into the pitch, according to sources.

A decision is expected by mid-May, according to the representative.

Miller also has several ties to Publicis Groupe agencies. The Chicago offices of Starcom, Arc and Digitas handle media, promotional and interactive duties, respectively, for the company.

Miller spent nearly $175 million in combined measured media on its Miller High Life and Miller Lite brands last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Almost all of that spending supported the Lite brand.

Crispin resigned the account in March, saying it had “a fundamental difference over creative and strategy.” The agency had been at work on a follow-up campaign to its “Man Laws” effort for Miller Lite, which had featured male celebrities debating what it meant to be manly.

The “Man Laws” campaign had been pulled in February, and a Crispin-created transitional campaign focused on the intentional misspelling of “Lite.” An in-house effort ran during the NCAA basketball tournament that touted Miller’s carbohydrate counts.