In exchange for committing to a minimum amount of advertising investment across Google's sites, Heineken will be
given access to special consultancy, data and discounts from the search company.
"We feel a partnership with such outfits is a competitive advantage," Alexis Nasard, Heineken's chief
commercial officer, told the Financial Times last week at the Cannes Lions advertising festival, where the brand's television, digital and packaging campaigns won seven awards.
Heineken's marketing budget is worth €2.1bn ($3bn) annually, about 4% of which is spent on digital marketing. Nasard said: "[Google] knows their media better than anyone else [and] have access to an immense source of information ... I don't think any traditional advertising agency will know about Google's business as well as Google knows about its business. The expertise they bring is unique." The company will continue to work with AKQA, the digital agency and its media agency, WPP's Mindshare.