DDB Is Believed to Have Won Bud Launch in Brazil

Agency Waits for Confirmation; Other Contender Burnett Is Out

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Sao Paulo agency DM9 DDB is believed to have beaten Leo Burnett in a hotly contested pitch by Anheuser-Busch InBev to finally launch Budweiser in Brazil.

Local trade publication Meio & Mensagem, Ad Age's editorial partner in Brazil, reported today that DM9 DDB won the review, although the agency wasn't able to confirm the news and said the review is still going on. The long pitch started at the end of last year, and earlier included a third finalist, Loducca, a Sao Paulo agency that is 50% owned by Grupo ABC, which also has a large minority stake in DDB's Brazilian agency DM9 DDB.

The account is an important win for DDB, which is the global agency of record for Budweiser but had to fight for the business in Brazil. Budweiser is expected to be launched there by the end of the year. Brazil is one of the world's biggest beer markets, but is largely dominated by local brands. During this year's World Cup, for instance, Anheuser-Busch focused its massive marketing campaign for Brazil on dominant local brand Brahma. The Brahma account is at another Grupo ABC agency called Africa.

Late Friday afternoon, DM9 DDB's president, Sergio Valente, tweeted in Portuguese: "About this news of our victory. Thanks for the support. But we continue waiting/working for this. If it's to be, it'll be." He signed the message "DM9 NoNewsYet."

DM9 DDB already handles other brands for InBev in Brazil, including one of the country's leading soft drinks, Guarana Antarctica, and a premium beer called Bohemia. InBev's other major beer brands in Brazil include Skol, at F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, and Antarctica at Almap BBDO.

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