Bass Brewers has fired Bates Dorland from its creative agency roster,
ending a relationship that has spanned more than 20 years.
The drinks giant has now embarked on a hunt for a replacement agency to
back up WCRS, which handles three-quarters of Bass’s business.
The news emerged as Bass removed the pounds 2 million Grolsch account
from Dorlands, the last active piece of Bass business remaining at the
agency. Brands such as Tennent’s Pilsner and Stones Bitter have been
dormant for several years.
The agency search is being conducted by Seamus McBride, Bass Brewers’
marketing director. WCRS is unlikely to win any new business because
McBride is keen to retain a spirit of competition.
McBride was unavailable for comment, but a Bass spokeswoman confirmed
that Dorlands had been dropped from the roster. ‘We are now considering
several options,’ she said.
Graham Hinton, Dorlands’ chairman, said: ‘I am genuinely saddened by
losing a brand like Grolsch that provides such a great opportunity for
doing exciting advertising. I hope our relationship with Bass hasn’t
Meanwhile, sources suggest the brewing giant is also poised to review
its Hooper’s Hooch business, currently handled by the through-the-line
agency, KLP. However, Bass insisted the account would remain with KLP.
Dorlands launched its last work for Grolsch in March. It is understood
that the pounds 2 million cinema campaign, which used the line, ‘unleash
a Grolsch’, was badly received by Bass.
Dorlands has been falling out of favour with Bass for the past two
years. Last September, it lost the Worthington Best Bitter account to
WCRS just 18 months after it won the business.