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Challenger brands agency VCCP Blue wins Carling

Surely some mistake? Carling, the venerable UK lager, is hardly a challenger brand is it?

Well maybe it is these days, it’s a long time since it ruled the market on the back of the famous WCRS ‘Bet he drinks Carling Black Label’ campaign.

VCCP Blue, an offshoot of Chime-owned VCCP, describes itself as ‘super light but protein-rich’ and, rather more meaningfully, an agency specialising in ‘smaller brands that think big.’ Its other accounts include London City Airport and Southern Homes.

But it already works for Carling owner Molson Coors on Coors Light so maybe that’s the reason for the move.

Although Campaign reports that RKCR/Y&R, Fallon and former Carling agency Beattie McGuinness Bungay also pitched for the account so that doesn’t really get us anywhere either.

Like many advertisers who once enjoyed the benefits of a long-term, award-wining campaign Carling seems to be on a never-ending search for another one.

BMB’s ‘You know who your mates are’ campaign was a brave stab at recreating the ‘bet he drinks’ feel-good factor but didn’t quite cut it.

This, on the other hand, most definitely did.

VCCP Blue has won the £7m creative account for Carling after a final shoot-out against RKCR/Y&R.

Carling: ‘You Know Who Your Mates Are’ by Beattie McGuinness Bungay

The agency will work on a successor to the lager brand’s ‘You Know Who Your Mates Are’ campaigns, which have been running since 2007 and were created by incumbent Beattie McGuinness Bungay.

VCCP Blue, VCCP’s creative entrepreneurial offering, won the £3m account for another Molson Coors brand, Coors Light, from The Leith Agency in October last year.

The pitch involved BMB and Fallon at an earlier stage and the process was managed by ISBA.

Chris McDonough, marketing director at Molson Coors UK & Ireland, said: “The quality of work presented was outstanding and VCCP Blue offered an excellent proposition, which we believe can help us broaden Carling’s appeal and consumer footprint, while maintaining its number-one status.”

BMB retains the accounts for other Molson Coors brands, Cobra, Corona and Grolsch, having won the latter two in March.

Molson Coors’ attempts to broaden the appeal of Carling have included hiring design agency Echo at the end of 2010.

This article was first published on ca

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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