Heineken USA Makes PR Agency Changes

Edelman Gains Dos Equis, Corporate Assignment for Brewer

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Heineken USA has hired independent public relations giant Edelman to support its Dos Equis brand and its Heineken corporate PR function.

The beer importer hired Publicis Groupe's MSLGroup in 2006 to handle PR for Heineken, Heineken Light and Amstel Light brands in the U.S. A little over a year ago, it retained the firm after a review that put the Heineken and Heineken Light PR brands into play.

With the shift, MSLGroup will hold onto its Heineken and Amstel Light brand work but is losing the corporate work. In the alcoholic-beverage category, the firm also lost its Hennessy account earlier this year. Hill & Knowlton was the incumbent on Dos Equis.

"Edelman's deep industry knowledge and passion for brand building are an ideal complement to further propel Dos Equis as the ultimate beer of choice for an interesting life," Paul Smailes, senior brand director for Dos Equis said in a statement, confirming the agency changes. Ben Boyd, global chair of Edelman's corporate practice, in a statement touted the shop's "understanding of the beverage industry."

Hill & Knowlton said that the agency and Dos Equis were parting ways after a "successful two-year partnership" adding that the shop "tremendously increased the brand's frequency of engagement and awareness among journalists, celebrities, existing brand ambassadors and consumers at large."

MSLGroup did not immediately respond to a requests for comment.

Heineken USA spent $126 million on measured media in 2011 across its brands, which include Heineken and Heineken Light, Dos Equis, Amstel, Tecate and Newcastle, according to Kantar Media. The move follows other recent strategic moves such as streamlining procurement and appointing independent Wieden & Kennedy as global creative agency for the flagship Heineken brand.

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