Bass Breweries has handed the pounds 10 million creative account
for its flagship Carling brand to The Leith Agency, with a brief to
broaden the lager’s appeal beyond its core of male drinkers.
Leith won the business after a final shoot-out against McCann-Erickson’s
sister agency, Magic Hat.
The original list had included J. Walter Thompson, Mustoe Merriman
Herring Levy and Publicis, which also handles the Worthington Creamflow
The appointment consolidates all of the brewer’s key lager brands into
one agency. Leith won the Grolsch business in December last year, and
already handles business for Tennent’s in Northern Ireland and
New work is expected to break early next year, with a heavyweight pounds
5 million campaign including TV, print and poster activity.
John Rowley, the managing director of Leith, said: ’Carling is the
market leader, and we’ve got a great position to work from. A big part
of any advertising we do is going to be about people respecting Carling
and seeing it as their brand, with that sense of ownership.’
Bass took its business out of WCRS in June after 16 years with the
It had created much-admired work for Carling including the famous
strapline ’I bet he drinks Carling Black Label’, together with the
’dambusters’, ’squirrels’ and ’Old Spice spoof’ campaigns.
WCRS and Bass are said to have experienced long-term difficulties over
the creative direction for Carling. The agency has also lost the
Caffrey’s and Worthington brands to rivals over the past couple of
The review has been inevitable since it emerged earlier this year that
WCRS was pitching for the rival beer brand Holsten Pils, owned by
Scottish Courage. The agency did not win the account, which remained
with TBWA GGT Simons Palmer.
Many beer brands are enjoying their biggest sales growths in the UK.
The best-selling lager brand in the UK, with a 24 per cent share of
draught sales, Carling has seen a 20 per cent rise in sales to pounds
150 million this year.