Interpublic agencies Initiative and DraftFCB will head the combined business as part of a dedicated unit being set up--MC Media. (WPP Group-affiliated out-of-home agency Kinetic will also have a small role in the unit.)
Earlier this year, SABMiller and Molson Coors established a joint MillerCoors venture in the U.S. The management then began reviewing how to merge the two previous entities' media accounts--Initiative (buying) and DraftFCB (planning) handled Coors, while Starcom had responsibility for Miller.
A pitch for the reported $400 million consolidated account followed largely between the IPG duo and Starcom, which had worked on Miller for years.
MillerCoors announced the results Friday. MC Media will handle general market buying and planning, except for digital. The group will be based in Chicago, where DraftFCB is headquartered. Bob Bernstein, former executive vice president, chief media officer at DraftFCB, will head MC Media as managing director.
Jackie Woodward, MillerCoors' vice president of marketing services, said the IPG side/Kinetic "displayed knowledge of the industry and a passion to win that we think will serve us well in this tremendously competitive and ever-changing industry."
MillerCoors said it will tap a Hispanic agency by the end of the year.
Media and creative in the digital arena will be run by Digitas and Razorfish. (Digitas' involvement means that even with Starcom out, Publicis Groupe is still involved with the business.)
Adding work on MillerCoors, Initiative goes into next year after a strong 2008, winning the Hyundai/Kia, Dr. Pepper/Snapple, TurboTax, MySpace Music and Veoh accounts, among others. It recently lost CBS and Levi's/Dockers, while Home Depot is in review.