Miller Opens Fosters Review

CHICAGO — Miller Brewing is continuing to put the pressure on roster shop J. Walter Thompson here, this time launching a review on its $15 million Foster’s Lager brand, currently handled by the agency.

The Milwaukee brewer is talking to several roster and non-roster shops about the Australian import, a Miller representative confirmed.

Proposal requests went out several weeks ago and JWT has been invited to defend the account, the representative said. She declined to name the agencies invited to participate and would not provide a timetable for the process.

The review comes about a month after Miller had the Chicago agency defend its $50 million Miller Genuine Draft account. The account was eventually split between JWT and Miller Lite agency Ogilvy & Mather following a creative shootout.

JWT is in the midst of a search for a new head of its Chicago office. Agency president Brian Heffernan left the agency last month under pressure.

JWT’s current campaign for Foster’s carries the long running theme “How to speak Australian,” featuring humorous contemporary scenarios. Miller spent nearly $14 million on advertising for Fosters last year, according to CMR.