MILLER TO BOTTLE FOURTH MALT BEVERAGE

Will Produce Drink Based on Jack Daniel's Whisky

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BOSTON (AdAge.com) -- Miller Brewing Co. today said it was launching its fourth ready-to-drink malt beverage, this one based on Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whisky.

Miller will produce the drink, and its network of national wholesalers will distribute it, aiming to get it on shelves this summer. A name has not been determined, according to a spokesman for Brown-Forman Corp., which markets Jack Daniel's.

This new product is Jack Daniel's first foray into malt beverages, though it has marketed Jack Daniel's Country Cocktails for a decade. A company spokesman said Brown-Forman remains committed to the Country Cocktails, which are spirits-based.

Thriving business
Ready-to-drink malt beverages are thriving and taking share from reduced calorie beers. Miller, whose volume fell 5% last year, is looking to these products to shore up its sagging portfolio. Miller is part of Philip Morris Cos., which is said to be considering selling the brewery.

Miller is already

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teaming with Skyy Spirits Co., majority-owned by Campari group, to launch Skyy Blue, and Allied Domecq, with which it will roll out a Stolichnaya beverage called Stoli Citrona and a Sauza tequila drink, Sauza Diablo.

Other "malternatives" include Diageo's Smirnoff Ice and Mark Anthony International's Mike's Hard Lemonade.

The Brown-Forman spokesman said the advertising agency for the beverage had not been determined, though Miller has used the spirits' agencies for Skyy Blue (Lambesis, Carlsbad, Calif.), Sauza Diablo (Interpublic Group of Cos.' dRush, New York), and Stoli Citrona (Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, Chicago).

The Jack Daniel's agency is Havas Advertising's Arnold Worldwide, St. Louis.

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