JWT gains important Carlsberg global foothold with Hong Kong win

Carlsberg is the world fourth-largest brewer with a history of famous advertising (‘Probably the best lager…) but uses a hotch-potch of agencies.

Its new tagline ‘That calls for a Carlsberg’ has been run out of London integrated agency Fold7 with some notable work from Belgium’s Duval Guillaume Modem.

Now JWT Hong Kong has won a place on the Carlsberg roster and, being a WPP company and all, will surely see that as something it can leverage to gain more business internationally.

Great rival Heineken is currently running a series of sledgehammer campaigns by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam and other rivals like Molson Coors are also ramping up their creative efforts.

It also shouldn’t escape notice that earlier this year WPP bought German marcoms company Commarco whose best-known agency is Scholz & Friends, which just happens to handle Carlsberg in one of its biggest markets. At the time it looked a rather strange deal – WPP is supposed to be about China and India and digital these days – but the global Carlsberg account could go a long way towards paying back the £100m or so WPP paid for Commarco.

JWT is flying high in the Far East at the moment, winning numerous awards including recent Cannes and Spikes gongs for Samsonite. A lead role in winning Calsberg would make it very popular indeed.

But first the Danish client will need to persuade itself that a global agency is what it really needs. Last time it did this was in 2006 when it appointed Wieden+Kennedy, but nothing very much happened.

Wieden, of course, went on to do great things for Heineken. Maybe Carlsberg has learnt its lesson.

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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.