Roster Shops Pitch New Miller Brand

NEW YORK Two Miller Brewing roster shops—Saatchi & Saatchi and StrawberryFrog—are awaiting a decision in a pitch to handle creative duties on the launch of a new beer brand, sources said.

Billings and the proposed brand name could not be determined. Major media spending on previous Miller launches ranged from about $13 million (for Icehouse in 2004) to nearly $25 million in the first 10 months of last year (Miller Chill), according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi, which handles Miller High Life, and StrawberryFrog, which has Foster’s, presented creative concepts to client executives last month, along with independent Mother, which handles Milwaukee’s Best, said sources. The Milwaukee-based client now is said to have narrowed its focus to Saatchi and StrawberryFrog.

The agencies either declined comment or referred calls to the client. In a statement, Miller said, “We do not comment on new product development. And the fact that we customarily engage and select agency partners for assignments to gain insight on media and consumer communication is a normal course of business for our company.”

Miller’s parent company, SABMiller, and Molson Coors Brewing in October announced plans to combine their domestic operations under the banner of MillerCoors. The proposed joint venture still awaits federal regulatory approval.