Anheuser-Busch, the owner of Budweiser and Michelob, is ditching
OMD UK and taking its £19 million media planning and buying
It will be handled from the first European branch of Busch Media Group,
Anheuser-Busch's media planning and buying unit, which will open on 5
Based in London and headed by the general manager, Michael McGough, most
recently senior manager in the US-based Busch Media Group, the European
branch will handle media for all the company's beer brands in the UK and
Brands include Budweiser, Michelob and Bud Ice. Recent Budweiser
campaigns - "whassup?" and "lizard and frog" - have been particularly
OMD UK has been asked to handle the transition of the account, which it
has held since 1996, into Busch's in-house department. It is understood
the agency was given barely a week's notice of the beer giant's
Andrew J Day, the vice-president and managing director of Anheuser-Busch
Europe, recognised OMD UK's "excellent work" in helping to build
Budweiser into a leading premium brand in the UK.
However, he added: "Integrating our media buying and planning with our
in-house sponsorship and brand marketing operations creates strategic
efficiencies and has proven to be a successful formula in the US."
Tony Ponturo, the group vice-president for corporate media and sports
marketing, also said the move was an extension of the company's US media
"This is another example of using our corporate assets and experience
developed in the United States to benefit our expanding international
business," he said.
Busch Media Group was founded in 1985 to handle Anheuser-Busch's
national TV and local radio buying in the US. It added local TV, print,
outdoor and sport sponsorship in 1992.
In the US, Budweiser has a number of major sponsorships with
professional sports teams, including the National Football League, Major
League Baseball and National Basketball Association.