Publicis Groupe Grows MillerCoors Business With Retail Win

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Credit: Miller Lite

Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett -- which recently lost the Miller High Life creative account -- has won a major piece of business from MillerCoors that will likely more than make up for that loss. Leo Burnett's shopper marketing agency, known as Arc, has been named the lead retail marketing shop for all MillerCoors brands, according to a MillerCoors memo sent to distributors.

Arc had been sharing retail marketing duties with Omnicom's Integer Group. "Arc brings deep expertise in delivering creative, strategically focused retail solutions and has been a valued partner on our business since 2005. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Arc team," the memo stated. "We'd like to thank everyone at Integer for their commitment to the success of MillerCoors and wish them well."

Leo Burnett's retail marketing work had included the High Life brand and the agency in 2014 stepped in to also handle creative advertising for the brew. In September, High Life creative was moved to Philadelphia-based Quaker City Mercantile. High Life TV ad spending has been modest and sporadic in recent years. But beer retail marketing -- which includes in-store signage -- is a labor-intensive, year-round endeavor and an important tool for brewers.

The chunk of retail business coming Arc's way includes Coors Light, Coors Banquet, Miller Lite and Blue Moon, among other brands, according to a person familiar with the matter

The win is welcome news for Leo Burnett, which has had a tough year punctuated by losing the McDonald's U.S. creative account in August.

In a memo to employees, Leo Burnett Worldwide CEO Rich Stoddart described the win as "a very large expansion from our current MillerCoors scope," adding that the business came without a pitch. Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Communications, also celebrated the win. In an internal memo to Publicis employees he stated that "not only does this win reinforce the strategic importance Arc has for Publicis Communications, it's a clear sign that shopper [marketing] will play a central role for our clients as we work with them to build the marketing model of the future."

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