Publicis Takes on Beck's After Leaving Corona Light

Agency Was Already in Talks With A-B InBev About Global Advertising Account

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CHICAGO ( -- Publicis, New York, didn't jilt Corona Light for just any suitor.

The agency, along with sibling Publicis Modem East, has picked up the global advertising account for Anheuser-Busch InBev's Beck's beer brand, effective immediately.

Publicis made news last month when it walked away from U.S. creative duties on Crown Imports' Corona Light brand, which it had won without a review only a month earlier, citing a "potential conflict of interest" that it declined to disclose but was said to be Beck's.

Corona Light offered Publicis an opportunity to basically create a positioning from scratch for a brand that has historically been marketed alongside its larger sibling, Corona Extra. But the agency apparently found the opportunity to handle one of the three largest brands at one of the world's five largest consumer-products companies to be too lucrative to pass up.

Publicis, which earlier this decade executed Heineken's successful "It's all about the beer" campaign in the import category, will be challenged to reverse Beck's slide in the U.S., which has been offsetting gains elsewhere for the brand, according to InBev's annual report. That won't be easy given the double-digit declines experienced by import beers this year.

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