MillerCoors Shifts 2 Brands to Draftfcb

As MillerCoors prepares to move its headquarters to Chicago, Draftfcb continues to add business from the brewer, which is shifting its Molson and Killian’s Irish Red assignments to the agency.

A MillerCoors rep declined to disclose spending for the brands, which had been at Taxi, New York, since 2006. Per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Molson spent almost $8 million in U.S. measured media last year (excluding online expenditures), while Killian spent $1.3 million. (However, the latter spent only $150,000 through September of this year.)

Draftfcb is providing strategy and above-the-line media executions for Molson. For Killian, no immediate advertising is planned, just positioning and consumer insights. TBWA’s Integer affiliate has been given responsibility for point-of-purchase and related chores on Killian.

Last month, longtime Coors agency Draftfcb was among the three winners in the brewer’s consolidation of $400 million in media duties. Draftfcb and sister Interpublic agency Initiative were incumbent Coors shops for media planning and buying, respectively. Along with WPP-backed Kinetic, they are creating a new entity, MC Media, to handle the client’s media efforts. The three trumped Publicis’ Starcom unit, the incumbent on Miller’s media planning and buying. At the same time, Draftfcb also landed a holiday assignment for Miller Lite.

The media shootout followed the finalization of the merger between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing on July 1. Leo Kiley, the CEO of the new MillerCoors, and Andrew England, the CMO, come from the Coors side of the company, which has worked with Draftfcb since 1978.

MillerCoors is relocating its combined operations to Draftfcb’s hometown of Chicago on July 1, from respective locations in Milwaukee and Golden, Colo. The company aims to save $500 million in costs over the first three years of the merger and the media consolidation was part of that effort; belt-tightening that takes on more urgency after its two larger competitors announced their own merger last month when InBev took over Anheuser-Busch.

A MillerCoors rep said no further marketing shifts are expected at this time but added: “We’ll continue to look at ways across our organization to capture synergies.”