A-B InBev has selected WPP’s MediaCom for U.S. media planning and buying duties after a formal review.
The brewing giant spent around $575 million on ads in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar. Brands include Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois and Beck's, among others.
The company has handled media-buying chores in house for years. In 2011, the brewer enlisted Publicis Groupe’s Starcom to assist it with its internal media planning and research capabilities for all the company’s U.S. beer brands across national, local and digital media.
Other contenders in the just-completed review included Starcom sibling agency Spark Communications, OMD and Vizeum. Starcom did not defend its planning assignment.
The U.S. pitch is the latest in a series of reviews that the brewer has launched around the world, including a pan-European review in June.
Earlier, the company held reviews in China and Latin America. The U.S. review comes after the company appointed Jorn Socquest U.S. vice president of marketing earlier this year. Socquet replaced Paul Chibe, the executive who brought Starcom on board three years ago.
A-B InBev enlisted ID Comms to help manage the pitch process.
For MediaCom, its the second big win in less than a week. Last Friday, word surfaced that the shop won the $150 million Merck consumer health business, which was purchased by Bayer earlier this month. Mediacom handles Bayer, and the Merck assignment was shifted to MediaCom from Initiative without a review.