Molson Coors Drops CP&B in Canada Due to Possible Conflict

Beer Marketer Apparently Learned Agency's U.S. Headquarters Is Pitching Rival, A-B InBev

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Molson Coors has fired CP&B's Canada shop after a seven-year relationship, apparently after finding out CP&B in the U.S. is pitching for Anheuser-Busch InBev's Bud Light account, reports Marketing magazine, Ad Age 's international partner in Canada.

Marketing reported:

Why did everything go south so suddenly? Well, because of larger developments transpiring down south, actually.

Both agency and client are unwilling to say much beyond the statements they issued, but Marketing has learned that CP&B's U.S. offices are pitching A-B InBev (probably for Bud Light). Sources familiar with the agency and the account said CP&B Canada was not involved in this review, but Molson's policies prohibit its agencies working on or pitching for rival brands.

"Our partners cannot have other North American alcohol brands or business on their rosters (beer, wine, spirits or other)," says Adam Moffat, director of communications at Molson Coors Canada.

Ad Age reported in late August that A-B InBev had put Bud Light in review, with the brewer casting a wide net in search of creative ideas for the biggest beer brand in the U.S. In addition to CP&B, some of the agencies still in the mix are said to be longtime A-B roster agency DDB, as well as McGarryBowen, Droga5 and possibly some other shops.

A-B, which confirmed the review to Ad Age in August, declined to comment today on which agencies are pitching.

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