Molson Coors Sets Media Agency Review for U.S., Canada and U.K.

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Credit: Miller Lite

Molson Coors Brewing Co. is beginning a request for proposal process to assess its media agencies in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and plans to make a final decision in the first quarter of 2017.

The review process comes as MillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors, is set to become fully integrated into Molson Coors.

MillerCoors Chief Marketing Officer David Kroll announced the plan Thursday in an email to the brewer's distributors that was shared with Ad Age.

Numerous agencies including incumbents will be receiving a request for information "as we look to select a smaller number of agencies who will be invited to participate in the RFP," Mr. Kroll said in the note.

He said the process was not a reflection on current media agency partners, which are being invited to participate.

Molson Coors' business elsewhere in Europe and in other international markets is not included in this process.

MillerCoors currently has Initiative as its largest media partner in the U.S. Molson Coors works with ZenithOptimedia in the U.K. and MEC in Canada.

The request for proposal process will help Molson Coors determine whether the business is awarded to one agency or multiple agencies, Mr. Kroll said in the note.

"Our objective with this RFP is to identify the best strategic partner or partners to deliver breakthrough media planning and superior buying effectiveness, along with strong capabilities in research, analytics and reporting. Of course, we also hope to find some cost efficiencies through the process, but our priority is to choose the best agency or agencies to help us build our brands and grow volume and value over the long term," Mr. Kroll wrote in the email.

Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisition of SABMiller received shareholder approval this week and is set to close in October. In order for A-B InBev's purchase of rival SABMiller to pass muster with U.S. regulators, A-B InBev agreed to divest SABMiller's U.S. business, including SABMiller's 58% stake in the MillerCoors joint venture. SABMiller agreed months ago to sell its stake in MillerCoors to Molson Coors.

MillerCoors spent $920.8 million on U.S. advertising in 2015, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.

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