MILLER SPLITS MARKETING DEPARTMENT IN TWO

'No Effect' on Agency Assignments, Company Says

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- As expected, Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, late Monday announced to employees its plans to reorganize the brewer's marketing department, a spokesman confirmed.

"We've realigned our marketing group into strategic business units," the spokesman told AdAge.com. "Reinvention of the [marketing] organization will do a lot to reinvigorate the Miller organization."

Miller has been fighting declining market share and growing competition from non-malt alcoholic beverages.

Two marketing groups
Phase one of the revamp splits the marketing department into two groups: the Miller trademark strategic business unit, responsible for all Miller trademarked brands, new Miller products and corporate initiatives tied to image, quality and responsible consumption; and the enterprise brand and

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business development unit, formerly the e-business and corporate strategy group.

The second unit will focus on developing regional brands, including Icehouse, Leinenkugel's and Foster's, malt liquors, non Miller-branded products and import partners in addition to developing new brands.

The reorganization is expected to have no effect on agency assignments, but instead it would streamline reporting and decision-making, the spokesman said.

"It's more consolidating brand groups into units and clearly defining the roles of each business," he said.

Further changes to headcount at corporate and field offices may still come during phase two of the reorganization, but the spokesman said he was unaware of any plans for staff cuts.

Personnel changes
Irv Frederick, 43, becomes vice president and general manager of the trademark unit from vice president of brand management. Denis McGarry, 49, will head the enterprise unit as vice president and general manager from vice president of e-business and corporate strategy. Mr. McGarry also will retain oversight for e-business. Both vice presidents will report to Bob Mikulay, 50, senior vice president of marketing.

In addition, the company has created "centers of excellence," with two departments reporting to marketing. The marketing services center will be led by Steve Buerger, 47, group director of marketing services, responsible for media planning and buying, event and sports marketing, brand identity and packaging development.

The marketing information and analysis department is being renamed as the market and business insights center, headed by Ed Gawronski, 40, vice president of market and business insights from vice president of marketing information and analysis.

Brand work
Meanwhile, Sergio Zyman's Zyman Marketing Group on Monday presented an architecture and framework for Miller's marketing strategy.

"They focused on the broader issue of what does Miller mean and what impact does that have on the rest of brand marketing efforts," the Miller spokesman said.

The brewer is in the midst of preparing for its March national sales meeting.

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