BBDO Wins Bud Light Platinum from Translation

Brewer Calls Shift a 'Synergy Move'

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Omnicom Group's BBDO has picked up more business from Anheuser-Busch InBev, winning Bud Light Platinum and other line extensions of the brand from Translation.

The move, which was confirmed today by A-B InBev, comes nearly 10 months after BBDO won the core Bud Light brand from Translation. The switch marks the first big agency change under Jorn Socquet, who was named the brewer's VP-marketing for the U.S. in January.

Other Bud Light line extensions include Bud Light Lime and a growing line of margarita-inspired flavored malt beverages including Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita, Mang-O-Rita and Raz-Ber-Rita.

The agency change was a "synergy move" and "had nothing to do with performance," said a spokeswoman for A-B InBev's U.S. division. She said Translation "remains a strong partner" and continues to work on Budweiser "Made In America," an annual summer music festival that has been curated by Jay-Z in Philadelphia for the past two years. Anomaly is the lead Budweiser agency.

Translation founder Steve Stoute said in an email that the agency's relationship with the brewer is "strong" but the "the synergy is much better" for line extensions and the core brand under one shop.

BBDO, which handles Bud Light out of its New York and Chicago offices, declined comment.

Mr. Socquet replaced Paul Chibe, who first put Translation on the brewer's agency roster in late 2011. Mr. Chibe had a working relationship with Mr. Stoute that dated back to when Mr. Chibe was at Wm. Wrigley Jr.

Bud Light Platinum is a higher-alcohol version of Bud Light that launched in 2012. Platinum rocketed out of the gate in 2012, but later slowed. In 2013. Platinum got $24.4 million in measured media support, according to Kantar Media.

Under Translation, Platinum pursued a music-marketing agenda, including partnering with Justin Timberlake for a series of ads in 2013. That deal ended in January and Platinum moved to a new campaign called "Turn Up Your Night" that features electronic dance music, including an ad that debuted during the Grammy Awards featuring DJ/producer/songwriter Zedd.

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