A-B Names Mother to $40 Million Beck's Global Account

Beer Brand Moves From Publicis After Just a Year

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LONDON (New York) -- Anheuser-Busch InBev is consolidating its $40 million global account for Beck's, an international beer brand that has changed agencies frequently, at Mother just a year after appointing Publicis to the business.

A team made up from both Mother New York and Mother London staffers will collaborate on the account, with the first work scheduled to appear early next summer. They will work together on global campaigns, but are unlikely to use traditional media for the brand.

Mother already has the global business for another Anheuser-Busch InBev brand, Stella Artois.

Beck's has not been associated with traditional advertising in the U.K. for a long time, instead promoting an association with art and music. Top British artists Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Gilbert & George have all designed labels for the beer, as have popular bands including Hard-Fi and LadyHawke.

Stef Calcraft, partner at Mother, said in a statement, "The brief the Beck's team gave us was one of the most challenging and inspiring we have yet received, and it demanded the best of Mother."

Publicis won the global Beck's business in August 2009, when the agency's New York office resigned Corona Light after just one month to take on the Anheuser-Busch InBev account. Beck's had been handled globally by Lowe London until the agency resigned the account last year, bringing to an end a long relationship with Anheuser-Busch InBev, which included many classic campaigns for Stella Artois.

Even Lowe only held onto the Beck's business for two years. The agency won it in August 2007, taking the account from Leo Burnett in the U.K. and -- in the U.S. -- from Ground Zero, which had won it just 11 months earlier.

Mother has already been working with Beck's for the last two months as a trial period.

"Beck's has a very discerning and demanding core consumer, and we needed something very special to live up to his expectations of what his favourite beer brand can do," said Jorn Socquet, the global brand director for Beck's. "We have worked intensively with Mother in recent weeks and are very confident we have something that answers this most testing of briefs."

In 2008, the Belgium-based brewer InBev completed a $52 billion takeover of the U.S. drinks giant Anheuser-Busch to create the world's largest brewer.

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