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MillerCoors Puts Blue Moon in Review

The beer agency changes keep coming: MillerCoors has put Blue Moon into creative review and has selected VenablesBell & Partners to handle its Leinenkugel’s brand.

The brewer, which is already in review for its largest brand, Coors Light, has “selected a small group of agencies to compete for the Blue Moon above-the-line work and expect to award this business by the end of September,” according to a memo sent to distributors. The incumbent on the brand is Integer Group, which “will refocus on retail marketing for Blue Moon,” according to the memo. 

Venables Bell & Partners, which is based in San Francisco, takes over Leinenkugel’s from Jacobson Rost, which will “refocus their efforts against our retail marketing programs,” according to the memo. New work for both brands is scheduled to debut next year.

MillerCoors spent $23.4 million in measured media on Blue Moon last year and $13.6 million on Leinenkugel’s, according to Kantar Media.

While the two brands lack the size of Miller Lite and Coors Light, they are critical players in the brewer’s strategy to lure craft beer drinkers with premium brands. Blue Moon finished 2014 as the 18th largest beer brand with roughly 1% share, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.

“Blue Moon Belgian White is already America’s No. 1 craft brand. That said, we believe Blue Moon can be more than just a leader in craft, it can be a leader in the above-premium space as well,” according to the memo, which was signed by Scott Whitley, president-CEO of the brewer’s Tenth and Blake division, which handles crafts and imports. Ashley Selman, the division’s senior marketing director, also signed the memo.

The brewer selected Venables Bell & Partners “because of its track record of accelerating the growth of high-potential brands, such as Audi and Google. Their work is grounded in sharp, strategic thinking, which is then communicated through compelling creative,” according to the memo.

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