Bass drops WCRS in Caffrey’s review

Bass Brewers has stunned its principal agency, WCRS, by beginning a secret review of its high-profile pounds 5 million Caffrey’s Irish Ale account. WCRS, which successfully launched the brand in 1994, will not repitch.

Bass Brewers has stunned its principal agency, WCRS, by beginning a

secret review of its high-profile pounds 5 million Caffrey’s Irish Ale

account. WCRS, which successfully launched the brand in 1994, will not

repitch.



Bass is understood to have shortlisted at least three London agencies

for the business, which will be awarded on a creative basis only. Media

- handled by BBJ - remains unaffected.



Mark Hunter, Bass’s marketing director who is heading the review, said:

’We’ve worked successfully with WCRS for a number of years, but

Caffrey’s has reached the stage where we believe it would benefit from a

fresh approach.’



Stephen Woodford, the WCRS managing director, commented: ’Caffrey’s has

been one of WCRS’s great successes, but we understand why Bass wants to

widen its portfolio of agencies.’



The Caffrey’s review does not affect WCRS’s remaining Bass brands -

Carling, Carling Premier, Worthington’s Asahi, Staropramen and Bass

Ales.



Bass launched Caffrey’s on St Patrick’s Day 1994, creating a new

category in the beer market with a product designed to appeal to modern

consumers who drink lager, bitter or stout.



Rival brewers quickly followed Bass into the new category after

Caffrey’s success. Courage launched John Smith’s Extra Smooth, Tetley

launched its own Smooth Ale, Guinness launched Kilkenny and Whitbread

launched Boddingtons.



The first work for Caffrey’s was created by Poulters using the line:

’Cool, calm Caffrey’s.’ WCRS won the consumer launch in April 1994 along

with other Bass brands including Draught Bass, Bass LA and Staropramen,

which had been handled by Edwards Martin Thornton. WCRS already worked

on the brewer’s flagship brand, Carling Black Label.



WCRS’s 80-second launch spot contrasted shots of a frenetic New York bar

with the serene Irish countryside, providing a visual representation of

Caffrey’s slogan: ’Strong words softly spoken.’



The agency’s last television work for Caffrey’s featured four close

friends on a night out, set to the soundtrack of Brim Full of Asha by

Cornershop. The creamy ale prompts a moment of contemplation and a

quieter soundtrack



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