Miller High Life Moves to CP+B

CHICAGO Miller Brewing confirmed it has cut Wieden + Kennedy from its roster.

The independent shop in Portland, Ore., had handled the Miller High Life account. The brand will now be handled by MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky on a project basis, a Miller representative said.

Miller spent nearly $20 million on High Life advertising last year, but only $5 million through July 2006, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Wieden had been on the Milwaukee company’s roster for about a decade, long crafting spots that portrayed various “manly behaviors” (such as the ability to back a boat trailer into a driveway) as qualities of a “High Life Man.”

That effort was retired last September in favor of a softer approach that tied the brand to the “Girl in the Moon” logo on High Life bottles. The introductory spot celebrated famous historical moments, subtly moving still frames to achieve a 3-D effect. The work introduced the tagline, “Savor the High Life.”

Agency partner Dan Wieden said, “Obviously this comes with mixed feelings at both companies. But sometimes the best way forward is to shake hands, congratulate each other on a decade of provocative work and begin to chart a new course.”

The Miller rep called the parting “amicable.”

CP+B in Miami handles the flagship Miller Lite brand.

The client has been shaving shops from its roster under the leadership of chief marketing officer Tom Long, who joined in June 2005. Earlier this month, Miller moved its $70 million Genuine Draft and Genuine Draft Light accounts from Interpublic Group’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., to WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam in Chicago.