InBev, the Belgian company that bought Anheuser-Busch last fall, has cut jobs, revamped the compensation system, dropped longstanding perks for managers and told vendors that it wants to take up to
120 days to pay bills, David Kesmodel and Suzanne Vranica report. It also has begun making drastic changes in its relationships with ad agencies, sports teams and TV companies.
research commissioned before the merger, new management believes changing demographics and media habits no longer require spending as much on mainstream sports events watched most heavily by men aged
21 to 40. It recently told NBC it will spend about 50% less on its coming Olympic ad package, and a source says it won't seek to be the exclusive beer advertiser.
It also has dropped
ad agencies responsible for some of its best-known past ads, including Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and is reducing the number of new ads created per year to 50 or 60 from about 100, say two people
familiar with the matter. A-B InBev also has cut fees for some agencies that it's still using, according to people familiar with the matter, and is moving toward a model in which the agencies are
paid by the project.
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