Labatt, the Canadian brewer, has assigned the creative work on its UK
business to Walsh Trott Chick Smith in a move that will sound the death
knell for Malcolm the Mountie.
Amanda Walsh, the agency’s managing director, declined to say what the
new TV campaign - planned for the summer - would be like, but confirmed
Malcolm would not be part of it.
Labatt, which began its review at the end of last year, is said to be
ready to put up to pounds 4 million behind the promotion of its UK
brands - Labatt’s Canadian Lager, Labatt’s Blue and Labatt Ice.
Media buying remains with CIA Medianetwork, which was appointed to the
business in November.
The appointment of Walsh Trott was made without a formal pitch, although
Labatt executives had talks with a number of undisclosed agencies before
they settled on their choice of agency to take over from Abbott Mead
Labatt, which was acquired by the Belgian company, Interbrew, last year,
ended its eight-year relationship with AMV in November.
The agency had been adapting Canadian-sourced work and agreed with
Labatt that it should be free to court other brewing business. AMV did
not repitch for the Labatt account.
The arrival of Labatt at Walsh Trott is the culmination of a concerted
effort by the agency to capitalise on the beer advertising experience of
Dave Trott, the founding creative partner, and his creative partner,
Gordon Smith, both worked on Holsten and Taunton cider while they were
Smith was also involved in the ‘Gertcha’ campaign for Courage Best while
at BMP DDB Needham.
Walsh commented: ‘We’ve been taking a long look at the Labatt portfolio
and we think there’s a great opportunity to give it the very distinctive
positioning it has been lacking to date.’
Labatt’s, which was launched in Britain in 1988, claims its Canadian
lager is now the seventh biggest-selling standard lager brand in England