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By Published on .

Miller Brewing Co. is whittling down its roster of six promotion agencies to two-Zipatoni Co., St. Louis, and GMR Marketing, Brookfield, Wis.

Zipatoni will handle consumer promotions, while GMR will be responsible for entertainment and sports marketing.

The move is designed to ensure program consistency and cut retainer fees, said Robert Olejniczak, director of promotional services at Miller.


The brewer had been taking greater control over promotions in the months before the move, said an agency executive familiar with the situation.

The new setup, in the works since April, is effective Jan. 1.

Left in the cold are Louis London, St. Louis; Market Growth Resources, Westport, Conn.; Wunderman Cato Johnson, Chicago; and Encore Marketing, Toronto.

An agency executive said the consolidation was more extreme than anticipated, and wondered whether just two agencies could handle the workload. He estimated that Miller spends more than $60 million on promotion.

Miller may keep programs created by the cast-off agencies, Mr. Olejniczak said. "Programs we want to continue with will be transitioned to the new agencies."


The reshuffling is consistent with other smaller account shakeups in recent months by Miller and No. 1 brewer Anheuser-Busch.

For example, Miller consolidated media buying with Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, by moving Hispanic advertising there from Marti Flores Prieto & Wachtel, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A-B, meanwhile, moved the Michelob brands account to Leap Partnership, Chicago, from Glennon Co., St. Louis. Leap President Tom Sharbaugh is a former A-B executive. A-B also is consolidating Hispanic advertising with Castor Group, New York.

In cost-cutting moves, A-B yanked retainers from Schupp Co., St. Louis, and Washington/Daniel Advertising, Chicago. The company also said it may lower fees

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