Anomaly‘s arrival in Canada did not signal good things for Grip Limited‘s hold on the Budweiser account. As Bud’s global brand AOR, Anomaly landed having steered Canadian creative for more than a year, leaving the digital, retail and below-the-line portion to the Canadian independent.
Grip had to relinquish those remaining portions of the account last week as the “King of Beers” moved all of its Canadian work to Anomaly’s fledgling Toronto office.
In a statement, J.R. Edwards, marketing manager for Budweiser Canada said, “With the recent opening of Anomaly’s Toronto office, it made sense to centralize all of our creative and digital work with one agency. Along with Anomaly, we’ve executed outstanding campaigns for Budweiser… Budweiser Canada will continue on this exciting path and have even more in store for Budweiser fans in the coming months. We appreciate all of the hard work Grip has done for us and wish them all of the best.”
Although Budweiser is the best-selling beer in Canada, its loss hardly leaves Grip in dire straits. The Budweiser brand is managed in Canada by Labatt, and Grip remains a big player on that company’s agency roster with work for Bud Light, Stella Artois and Kokanee (for which its making a movie). It also recently won Dare Foods.
“It was a global decision to consolidate the Budweiser account with one agency,” said Grip president Harvey Carroll. “Our relationship with Labatt remains strong.”
Carroll would not comment on whether the account loss would result in layoffs, saying only the agency would be “reallocating resources against different accounts.”
Anomaly would not comment on the account move. After opening in April, Anomaly Toronto is still looking for creative leadership. Work on the account will likely be shared between Toronto and the New York head office (which also handles Budweiser U.S.) until executive creative leadership is found.