Bud Light dumps Mcgarrybowen after eight months

Wouldn’t life be great without clients?

Which probably isn’t something you hear very often at top-performing US agency Mcgarrybowen as its client service is supposed to be one of the strengths that has attracted numerous big clients – and owner Dentsu – to the agency since it was started by Madison Avenue veterans John McGarry and Gordon Bowen ten years or so ago.

But Bud Light, one of its big recent gains with an annual spend of around $300m in good times, has unceremoniously given it the order of the boot after just eight months, moving the big-spending account to roster agency Translation.

Astonishingly Mcgarrybowen only managed to get one TV ad through owner InBev’s supposedly rigorous pre-testing procedures, which suggests that either Mcgarrybowen has lost its mojo in double quick time or the big brewer’s aforementioned procedures could do with a spot of revision.

This is the one that did get through, the agency’s Super Bowl ‘Weego’ the rescue dog effort.

It’s quite hard to go wrong with winsome pooches at the Super Bowl (there’s a whole dog rescue centre of them) but this is a pretty good effort, allowing InBev to attach a dog rescue charity campaign to it for good measure.

Mcgarrybowen, which has just taken over most of Dentsu’s creative ad operations in Europe, and won the new model Honda Civic launch there as well, will no doubt bounce back.

And it’ll be interesting to see how Translation handles the merciless marketers at InBev. Former agency DDB Chicago, which handled Bud Light for decades, will no doubt be keeping a close eye on proceedings.

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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.

One comment

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    Best bit is when in a last desperate effort to hold on to the account… They wheeled in Gordon Bowen to take over the account… Gordon Bowen is a Mormon, and as you know, Mormons are not your average “Lager Lout.” So much for their fabled client schmoozing skills.
    Cheers/George “AdScam” Parker.