Miller Parts With Wieden

Ends Decade-Long Relationship That Created 'High Life Man'

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Miller Brewing Co. is splitting with Wieden & Kennedy, ending a decade-long relationship that created one of beer advertising's enduring characters.
Ads replacing the 'High Life Man' with the 'Girl in the Moon' couldn't help turn the brand's sales around.
Ads replacing the 'High Life Man' with the 'Girl in the Moon' couldn't help turn the brand's sales around.

Girl in the Moon
The independent agency had most recently been agency of record for Miller High Life, creating the deep-voiced High Life Man who helped boost the brand's slumping sales from 1998 through 2003, but then saw results trail off. Late last year, Miller asked Wieden to give the beer a more feminine positioning in line with its long-held "Champagne of Beers" boast, but ads tied to the "Girl in the Moon" didn't help sales and were quickly canned. The brand has been off of TV for months.

A Miller spokesman said the company had been pleased with Wieden's work and wished it luck going forward. Work on Miller High Life will go to Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, which is currently Miller Lite's agency of record.

Miller spent $16.8 million in measured media 2005, and $22 million in 2004 on High Life, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

The spokesman said Crispin is not being awarded agency-of-record status for High Life.

'A great decade together'
A Wieden spokeswoman characterized the split as "one both companies came to amicably. We've had a great decade together and now we're going our separate ways."

"Obviously this comes with mixed feelings at both companies," added Dan Wieden, the agency's co-founder and principal. "But sometimes the best way forward is to shake hands,congratulate each other on a decade of provocative work and begin to chart a new course."

The move follows Miller's recent split with the Martin Agency, which had been agency of record for Miller Genuine Draft, another struggling brand. Young & Rubicam, Chicago, replaced Martin as MGD's agency.

The other shop on Miller's roster is Mother, New York, which handles Milwaukee's Best.
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