PGC Gains Moosehead. . . Without a Fight

By Glen Fest

DALLAS–PGC Advertising has corralled a loose moose, along with a sought after spot on the Gambrinus Co. roster, by acquiring the estimated $2 million domestic account of Moosehead Beer.

Moosehead, a Canadian import that industry observers feel has been undermarketed in recent years, has turned up at the Dallas agency after distribution and marketing rights were handed over this month to San Antonio-based Gambrinus from Guinness Import Corp. in Stamford, Conn. The ad account previously was with Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano in New York.

PGC was awarded the account without a review, thanks in part to earlier contacts with Gambrinus marketing director Ron Christesson. PGC competed in Gambrinus’ reviews last year for the Corona and Shiner Bock labels that were eventually shipped to The Richards Group in Dallas and Houston’s Fogarty Klein & Partners, respectively.

Christesson said the company was impressed with PGC’s strategic planning capabilities and knowledge in product distribution channels that will be utilized for Gambrinus’ first nationwide import.

‘We’ve always felt they were a strong agency from a strategic standpoint and with packaged goods,’ said Christesson. ‘We expect them to bring the same breadth of knowledge to Moosehead Beer.’

PGC president Michael Cobb said talks are under way regarding promotional assignments. Moosehead’s most recent promo partner was Manhattan Marketing Ensemble, New York.

Moosehead’s measured media spending was $1.8 million in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting. That figure was up tenfold from 1995, when it was only $180,000.

Plans for the Moosehead brand this year will fall primarily in building distribution before work begins on a brand repositioning in 1998, Christesson said.

Prior to assigning PGC the account, Christesson had said Moosehead’s marketing would attempt to establish the beer in a premium category. ‘We’ll find a position where we’re not competing against Canadian imports, just as we don’t market Corona as a Mexican brand so much as a lifestyle (brand).’

–with Gerry Khermouch

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED