CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- MillerCoors today awarded its $400 million-plus media account to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initative and DraftFCB and WPP Group's Kinetic, which will handle the business in a new unit called MC Media.
Kinetic and the Interpublic shops, which had previously handled Coors Brewing Co.'s business, beat a group of Publicis Groupe agencies led by Starcom USA, which had been Miller Brewing Co.'s incumbent, in a pitch.
MC Media will be a dedicated unit within Interpublic, similar to the GM Planworks unit Publicis fashioned to handle General Motors' media buying and planning business. It will handle media for a diverse brand roster, which includes large, mainstream brands such as Miller Lite and Coors Light, craft and import brands such as Leinenkugel's, Peroni and Killian's, and bargain beers such as Miller High Life and Keystone.
"MC Media recognized our need for dedicated resources from a diverse and respected group of agencies to come together to bring a unique solution to the table that will help us win with beer drinkers," said Jackie Woodward, MillerCoors' VP-marketing services. "The MillerCoors' portfolio is a collection of distinctive beer brands, and they displayed knowledge of the industry and a passion to win that we think will serve us well in this tremendously competitive and ever-changing industry."
"All three partners are enormously proud to have won this important assignment from MillerCoors," said Bob Bernstein, who will serve as managing director of MC Media, and was previously exec VP-chief media officer at DraftFCB, Chicago. "The extended team that will form our new MC Media unit is committed to ensuring that MillerCoors becomes America's best beer company."
Initiative was Coors' legacy media-buying agency and DraftFCB has long handled its creative and media planning. Kinetic will handle out-of-home responsibilities within MC Media.
The loss strips Starcom of Miller's media business, which it has handled since 1997. It had successfully defended the business during a 2006 review.
MillerCoors said that digital media-planning and -buying, along with digital creative assignments will be handled by Publicis' Digitas and Microsoft's Razorfish.
The marketer also said it intended to name a Hispanic media agency of record by the end of the year.
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Kinetic as an Interpublic agency.