Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, the parent of Harp and Banks Bitter, has parted company with Wallis Tomlinson and has called a pitch in a move to scale back its roster.
The brewery has asked its remaining roster agencies, Walsh Trott Chick Smith and Ogilvy & Mather, to pitch for the pounds 1 million Banks Bitter account which Wallis Tomlinson had picked up from Partners BDDH in 1999.
Walsh Trott beat Lansdown Conquest and Fallon in a pitch for the pounds 1.5 million Marston's Pedigree business in 1998 and successfully retained the account following the hostile takeover of Marston, Thompson and Evershed by Wolverhampton & Dudley a year later.
O&M beat both Walsh Trott and Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners in a pitch for the pounds 2 million Harp business in November 1999. However, the agency's position may have been weakened by its decision to pitch for the global Pilsner Urquell business, won by Leagas Delaney last week.
Wolverhampton & Dudley has previously avoided allowing any creative agency to control more than one of its beer brands. However, media planning and buying for the brewer's entire portfolio was centralised into Manning Gottlieb Media after a pitch against its fellow incumbent CIA Medianetwork in 1999.
All three Wolverhampton & Dudley brands were the subject of TV campaigns during 2000. O&M released a spot in September positioning Harp as the drink of unreformed laddish blokes. Walsh Trott's ad for Marston concentrated on the beer's wood cask brewing technique, while Wallis Tomlinson released a Banks spot starring Roger Moore.