Heineken taps Canvas Worldwide as media agency of record for U.S.

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Heineken beer
Heineken beer Credit: bizoo_n/iStock

Heineken USA has brought on Canvas Worldwide as its media agency of record in the U.S., marking a major win for the three-year-old agency.

The new appointment — part of a "strategic approach to strengthen the brand's marketing and media planning efforts — will be effective Jan. 1, 2019, Heineken confirmed to Ad Age in a statement.

In 2012, Heineken consolidated global media planning and buying with what was then Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest. Starcom has been handling the account in the U.S.

Heineken spent $476 million in total U.S. ad spending in 2017, making it the 99th-largest ad spender in the U.S. for that year, according to Ad Age Datacenter's 200 Leading National Advertisers report.

"We continually review our agency relationships to ensure we have the right partners and strategic approach in place to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing media and consumer landscape," Heineken USA CMO Jonnie Cahill said in a statement. "We look forward to building our media partnership with Canvas Worldwide and we will continue to work with Publicis as our creative agency of record for the Heineken brand globally."

Cahill assumed CMO duties in April after working at Heineken's global headquarters in Amsterdam, where he was global commerce senior director on the brewer's low and no alcohol brands.

"Dynamic change in the digital economy creates the need for new thinking and bravery, and we are pleased that Heineken USA has chosen Canvas Worldwide to take this journey with them," Paul Woolmington, Canvas Worldwide CEO said in the emailed statement.

Canvas, a three-year-old indie media and marketing services agency network that handles the media business for Hyundai Motor Group in the U.S., has notched other wins this year including high-end kitchen appliances maker Breville and Chicken of the Sea.

Heineken USA's brands include its flagship Heineken lager, Dos Equis, Tecate and Strongbow cider. The marketer's total alcoholic beverage sales fell 5 percent in the 52 weeks ending Nov. 3, according to NIelsen data cited in a recent Wells Fargo report. Brand Heineken last summer unveiled a new campaign plugging the brew for high-energy social occasions, like soccer viewing. The effort, by lead creative agency Publicis, replaced a campaign starring actor Benicio del Toro that plugged attributes like the beer's original recipe and the fact that that Heineken has been family-owned since 1873.

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