Street Talk: How CP+B lost Molson

American account review quashed longstanding relationship

American account review quashed longstanding relationship

Tuesday’s news that Molson Coors was no longer working with (i.e. fired) Crispin Porter + Bogusky Canada was big. The two companies had been working together for seven years dating back to when CP+B was called Zig. It was undoubtedly one of the agency’s largest accounts.

Why did everything go south so suddenly? Well, because of larger developments transpiring down south, actually.

Both agency and client are unwilling to say much beyond the statements they issued yesterday, but Marketing has learned that CP+B’s U.S. offices are pitching AB InBev (probably for Bud Light). Sources familiar with the agency and the account said CP+B Canada was not involved in this review, but Molson’s policies prohibit its agencies working on or pitching for rival brands.

“Our partners cannot have other North American alcohol brands or business on their rosters (beer, wine, spirits or other),” says Adam Moffat, director of communications at Molson Coors Canada.

The result: the end of a longstanding marketing relationship and an unexpected agency review to be steered by the company’s procurement team – specifically by Cathy Hennig, Molson’s enterprise category lead, marketing.

Moffat said Molson hopes to announce a new agency partner by the end of October.

Sources also say that CP+B Canada did not even know CP+B Boulder was pitching for an AB InBev brand until they heard about it from Molson, which, if true, would make for some interesting meetings over the coming weeks.

But even with a border separating the offices, CP+B has always claimed its offices work as one agency – something the agency probably would have presented to Molson as a benefit when it joined the Boulder, Colo-based agency network last summer.

Was it fair of Molson to take the business away? Who will end up with this account? Post your thoughts in our comments section.

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