NEWS: Labatt signs UK creative work to Walsh Trott

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.

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

Vickers BBDO.



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

its partners.



Dave Trott, the founding creative partner, and his creative partner,

Gordon Smith, both worked on Holsten and Taunton cider while they were

at GGT.



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

and Wales.



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