Labatt to market Budweiser long term in Canada

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TORONTO -- Labatt Breweries of Canada will "significantly dial up" Canadian marketing support behind Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser and Bud Light brands under a new deal between the two marketers.

Anheuser-Busch has granted Labatt the Canadian rights to the two brands in perpetuity, with the agreement calling for Labatt to boost its backing of the beers and give the U.S. brewer a bigger share of profits.

Labatt spokesman Bob Chant wouldn't reveal figures but noted Budweiser already enjoys major spending "that has already driven it to its thirdplace position" among all beer sold in Canada.

Budweiser is Canada's No. 1 domestically produced U.S. brand, enjoying an estimated market share of about 8.8%, which Labatt says puts it above all other Canadian-brewed U.S. beers combined.

"The brand has been growing at a phenomenal pace over the past four years, at about a share point a year," says Mr. Chant.

Among Labatt's initiatives for the Budweiser brands is a 12-year partnership with the U.S. National Football League, which features heavily in TV ads, point-of-purchase, contests and packaging.

Bozell Worldwide, Toronto, handles Bud brands for Labatt, which began brewing and marketing Budweiser in 1980.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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