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Heineken USA this month starts importing Murphy's Irish Amber, brewed by Ireland's Murphy Brewery, and is promoting it with a tie-in at 350 TGI Friday's restaurants nationwide.

TGI Friday's "Beer of the Month" promotion for May features the brand, using on-premise print, and it's part of a $4 million 1996 marketing campaign handled by Earle Palmer Brown Cos., New York, on a project basis.

EPB will also use some "non-traditional" marketing this summer, said Peter Bray, director of marketing at Heineken, as well as print advertising in national music and lifestyle magazines.


"TGI Friday's is the first national restaurant chain to feature this brand," Mr. Bray said. "We brought on the distribution precisely because of the chain's impact. It's in virtually every region."

The on-premise promotion runs counter to tradition, in which brewers test brands regionally before going national.

"We tested the brand in other parts of the world, and we were confident," Mr. Bray said.

The Friday's promotion runs simultaneously with the brand's national introduction to retail and on-premise markets nationwide.

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