MillerCoors Picks Agencies to Handle $400 Mil. Media Biz

MillerCoors said it has hired MC Media, a new unit being created by Draftfcb, Initiative and Kinetic, to handle the brewer’s consolidated media chores following a review.

MillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing, spends an estimated $400 million annually in domestic measured media.

IPG’s Initiative was the incumbent on Coors buying while its holding company sibling Draftfcb handled planning. Publicis Groupe’s Starcom was the incumbent on Miller planning and buying. Kinetic is backed by WPP Group and others, but has no IPG affiliation.

The review, a shootout among MillerCoors’ roster shops, followed the merger of SABMiller Brewing and Molson Coors, which took effect on July 1. The company said it expects to save $500 million in costs over the first three years of the merger, and the agency switch is part of that effort.

“MC Media recognized our need for dedicated resources from a diverse and respected group of agencies to come together to bring a unique solution to the table that will help us win with beer drinkers,” said Jackie Woodward, MillerCoors’ vp, marketing services, in a statement. “The MillerCoors portfolio is a collection of distinctive beer brands, and they displayed knowledge of the industry and a passion to win that we think will serve us well in this tremendously competitive and ever-changing industry.”

“All three partners are enormously proud to have won this important assignment,” said Bob Bernstein, who will serve as managing director of MC Media, and was previously evp, chief media officer at Draftfcb, Chicago. “The extended team that will form our new MC Media unit is committed to ensuring that MillerCoors becomes America’s best beer company.”

Consultancies Joanne Davis Consulting and Media IQ assisted MillerCoors with the review.

MillerCoors will have combined net revenue of about $6.6 billion and total beer sales of 69 million barrels in the U.S., according to the companies.

Andy England, former chief marketer at Molson Coors, was named in June as CMO of the merged entity. He also was recently crowned Grand Marketer of the Year by Brandweek.

The digital business, which was not in play, remains with Digitas and Razorfish. A separate Hispanic review is ongoing and will conclude by year’s end, MillerCoors confirmed. Woodward is helming that review.