Miller Begins Search for Crispin's Replacement

Five Agencies Contacted for $100 Million-plus Account

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Miller Brewing Co. has begun its search for a creative agency to replace Crispin Porter & Bogusky, which resigned the brewer's $100 million-plus account last month.
The review covers both the Miller Lite and Miller High Life brands, which were handled by Crispin until the agency quit last month.
The review covers both the Miller Lite and Miller High Life brands, which were handled by Crispin until the agency quit last month.

A Miller spokesman said the brewer has tapped search consultant Joanne Davis for the review, which will be led internally by Deb Boyda, a former Ogilvy & Mather executive who is the brewer's VP-content.

Roster invitees
Miller has contacted five agencies for the pitch, according to an executive familiar with the matter. They include current roster shops Y&R, Chicago, and Mother, New York. Y&R, part of WPP Group, currently handles Miller Genuine Draft and Miller Chill, while independent Mother handles Milwaukee's Best Light.

Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi has also been invited to pitch. Miller currently uses Publicis-affiliated agencies for its media ( Starcom), promotions (Arc) and digital ( Digitas) accounts. None of those accounts are involved in this review.

The two remaining agencies couldn't immediately be learned. Agency spokespeople either declined to comment or didn't immediately return calls. A decision is expected by mid-May.

Lite and High Life brands
The review covers both the Miller Lite and Miller High Life brands, which were handled by Crispin until the agency quit last month. The two accounts could stay linked, or wind up at different shops.

Whoever wins the business will have to find a way to boost a brand that lost ground to its two major competitors last year -- Bud Light and Coors Light grew while Miller Lite shrank -- and is increasingly threatened by fast-growing import and craft light beer brands such as Heineken Premium Light, Sam Adams Light and the new Tecate Light.

Miller spent more than $100 million on Lite last year, and a little more than $8 million on High Life, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

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Brooke Capps and Lisa Sanders contributed to this report.
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