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Publicis Groupe Heineken

Heineken elevates Publicis Worldwide to lead global creative agency

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By Seb Joseph, News editor

June 30, 2015 | 3 min read

Heineken has strengthened its ties to Publicis Worldwide by appointing it lead global creative agency for its flagship beer brand.

The announcement makes official what the brewer had all but confirmed earlier this month when it split with Wieden + Kennedy. At the time Heineken said global work would be handled by Publicis but had not awarded it lead agency status.

It said the decision continues its existing approach of using “top in-market creative agencies” to develop local platforms within Heineken's global positioning, and for “top-spin activities” to support the global campaigns. Publicis will create campaigns in partnership with more than 10 creative agencies to further develop this model.

Jan Derck van Karnebeek, chief commercial officer at Heineken, said: "We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Publicis. Over the last two years, the team has produced exceptional results for Heineken, especially the responsible consumption and Dream Island campaign. The team has consistently demonstrated a strong understanding of the strategic direction of the brand and we have been enormously impressed by their strong creative ideas and innovative approach.

Heineken had worked with Wieden + Kennedy since 2010 and during this period developed high profile work for the brewer’s Heineken, Heineken Light and Desperados brands including the current “Legends” activity. Despite the success helping it scoop this year's Cannes Lions Creaive Marketer award, the brewer believes an advertising shakeup is needed as part of wider changes to how it runs its marketing. These changes saw it scrap the chief marketing officer role in April in favour of chief commercial officer with combined sales duties as well as the removal of regional marketing and regional sales roles to support the plan

The brewer told The Drum at the time that the changes aimed to curb duplication, streamline processes, simplify decision-making and lower costs. Heineken hopes the moves are successful enough to hit its medium-term target of improving consolidated operating margin by an average of 40 basis points per year.

Publicis Groupe Heineken

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