InBev to move beer spend below the line after BBH split

InBev will not review the advertising duties for its Castlemaine XXXX, Boddingtons and Murphy's brands following its split with Bartle Bogle Hegarty last week.

Instead, the brewer will shift its marketing investment for the beer brands below the line, with a focus on direct activity and sponsorship.

BBH and InBev's decision to part, as revealed by Campaign on Brand Republic last week, followed the alcohol giant's decision to scale back its TV and print adspend. The company had begun to question its advertising's effectiveness. InBev spent £1.9 million and £1.8 million on Boddingtons and Murphy's respectively in the 12 months to 31 August 2006, according to Nielsen Media Research.

An InBev spokeswoman said: "We are looking for innovative ways to push the brands forward and didn't think BBH would be playing a role."

The spend will be targeted at "point of connection" activities, including Castlemaine XXXX's sponsorship of British Rugby League.

The move echoes a similar approach taken to other InBev brands. Earlier this year, the brewer appointed Woo, part of the Engine Group, to work on the Beck's direct marketing account.

The brewer's split with BBH ends a 15-year relationship, which yielded some of the most colourful beer advertising in the UK.

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