PABST OPENS REVIEW FOR AGENCY: BREWER WOOING MILWAUKEE CONSUMERS WITH POP

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Pabst Brewing Co. is in the early stages of an agency review as it looks to escalate marketing after a management shakeup earlier this year.

Pabst, a unit of S&P Co., in April parted with agency Asher & Partners, Los Angeles, and now handles all advertising in-house.

Brewery officials declined to comment or identify agencies in the review.

The brewer spent $1.2 million on advertising in 1997, chiefly for its Colt 45 malt liquor, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Pabst has been telling wholesalers it plans to step up marketing efforts since William Bitting became CEO in February, replacing Lutz Issleib, who resigned.

BACK IN MILWAUKEE

In one new marketing effort, the brewer has done point-of-purchase materials for the Milwaukee market that read: "Pabst is back: Brewed in Milwaukee."

The POP, which alludes to the fact Pabst has contracted with Miller Brewing Co. to brew its beers, is meant to win back Milwaukee consumers who shunned the beer after Pabst closed its brewery there in 1996.

Pabst Blue Ribbon sales fell 13.3% to 1.3 million barrels in 1997, according to Impact. This was partly because of declines in Milwaukee, one of its biggest markets.

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