Sleeman Brewing ends relationship with Publicis SMW over account conflict

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TORONTO--Sleeman Brewing & Malting Co., Guelph, Ontario, is ending a three-year relationship with ad agency Publicis SMW of Toronto due to a client conflict. Although Publicis already handled advertising business for rival Molson Breweries in 1998 when it acquired SMW, the underlying tensions only came to a head this month. A spokesperson for Sleeman says, "the conflict had become too difficult to manage."

Sleeman will now launch an agency search for the creative portion of its account. Media buying will remain with Optimedia Canada, the media arm of Publicis.

Sleeman is the third-largest brewer in Canada after Molson and Labatt's. Its brands include Okanagan Spring and Upper Canada.

Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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