Venables Bell & Partners Picks Up Blue Moon Account

Shift Is Latest in MillerCoors Agency Changes

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Blue Moon ad
Blue Moon ad

Venables Bell & Partners has won the Blue Moon account after a review.

The move comes just a short time after the agency picked up the Leinenkugel's brand, a sibling MillerCoors beer.

Integer was the incumbent agency on Blue Moon, though when the review launched, the company had said that Integer would stay on the roster with a focus on retail marketing.

The company confirmed the win. "VB&P has demonstrated through its award-winning work on brands like Google and Audi that it has a keen understanding of how to move the needle with millennial consumers for sophisticated brands," said the company in a memo to distributors. "VB&P will leverage its deep understanding of the consumer to differentiate Blue Moon and Leinenkugel's in the marketplace, and accelerate growth for both craft breweries."

Blue Moon may be dwarfed by MillerCoor's larger brands Miller Lite and Coors Light, but the brand, along with beers like Leinenkugel's, play a big role in luring craft beer fans to the MillerCoors portfolio. Blue Moon finished 2014 as the 18th largest beer brand with about 1% market share, according to Beer Marketer's Insights.

"Blue Moon has seen 20 years of consecutive growth and become the No. 1 craft brand in America," said the memo, which was signed by Scott Whitley, president and CEO of Tenth and Blake, and Ashley Selman, senior marketing director of Tenth and Blake. "We believe it has the potential to continue its strong growth and become one of the industry's overall high-end beer brand leaders by connecting with the increasing number of consumers entering craft. VB&P as Blue Moon's above-the-line agency is an exciting step in continuing to unlock Blue Moon's immense potential."

MillerCoors has made significant changes to its agency roster in the last year. The move comes less than a week after the company handed its Coors brands to 72andSunny after a review. Those brands had previously been handled by WPP's Calvary in Chicago, a shop that was formed for those brands. Cavalry also worked on other MillerCoors brands like Redd's Apple Ale and Smith & Forge Hard Cider. Those brands, along with Henry's Hard Soda, were moved to Mekanism New York in August. Last year the company awarded Omnicom's TBWA in Los Angeles the Miller Lite account.

MillerCoors spent $23.4 million in measured media on Blue Moon last year, according to Kantar Media.

For Venables, the win also follows the Celebrity Cruises account, as well as Adidas Golf. Earlier this year, the agency shuffled its leadership team as President and Founder Bob Molineaux retires and Founder Paul Venables moves to chairman. Replacing Mr. Molineaux was Paul Birks-Hay, managing director, who became partner and president. Mr. Venables, who had been overseeing creative with Will McGinness, moved into a role that focused on talent and culture, giving Mr. McGinness the creative reins.

Contributing: E.J. Schultz

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