Bass appoints Leith to pounds 10m Carling account

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.

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

business.



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

Scotland.



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

agency.



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

years.



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.