It's Miller time for O&M, JWT

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Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, today confirmed it has tapped two agencies used by sister company Kraft Foods to turn around a pair of troubled brews. As first reported late yesterday on adage.com, the No. 2 U.S. brewer selected Ogilvy & Mather, New York, to handle the $95 million Lite account and J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago, to handle the $60 million Miller Genuine Draft account.

In a statement, Miller Senior VP-Marketing Bob Mikulay praised his new agencies: "We are delighted to bring on board to Miller two truly world-class advertising agencies to help us create world-class, integrated marketing campaigns for Miller Lite and Miller Genuine Draft."

Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, lost Lite, and Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., lost MGD. Wieden will continue handling Miller High Life; those ads have garnered praise.

It's believed JWT Creative Director Dennis Ryan is a chief reason his agency got one account. Mr. Ryan spent 13 years at DDB Worldwide, Chicago, where he was group creative director and oversaw Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser advertising. John Bowlin, Miller's new president-CEO, worked with O&M in his previous job as president of Kraft International.

Miller and Kraft are divisions of Philip Morris Cos. JWT handles Kraft's equity advertising and products including cheese, Cheesecake Bites, Breakstone Sour Cream and Miracle Whip. O&M handles Post cereals and Maxwell House coffee.

Mr. Bowlin said when he took the helm in April that Fallon and Wieden would be given every chance to drive the company forward.

A Miller spokesman said new Lite ads should be on the air in time for the National Football League preseason later this summer. He said the ads had been started by Fallon.

Copyright July 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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