Heineken sends RFI to creative agencies

Dutch brewing giant Heineken has sent an RFI to select creative agencies in search of new global partners to guide it through an evolving marketing and communications landscape, Campaign US has learned.  The scope focuses on Heineken’s roughly 300 international brands, which include Red Stripe, Tecate, Tiger and Amstel, the brewer confirmed. It does not include the global flagship Heineken brand, held by Publicis Groupe.  The RFI spans creative and production, according to sources. Media, which is held by Dentsu, is not up for review.  According to a Heineken spokesperson, the brewer does not have a fixed timeline for selecting new partners, and is currently looking to explore what talent and ideas exist in the marketplace.  But the beer giant is setting up meetings with agencies in Cannes, according to multiple sources.  R3 is said to be facilitating the process, but was unavailable for comment.  “This is a pursuit to accelerate the power of creative excellence to deliver brand growth and effectiveness,” said James Thompson, chief commercial officer, Heineken, in an email to Campaign US. “The assessment is exploratory at this time and we are at an RFI stage only. “We have not yet reached a conclusion as to which countries, regions or brands will be identified to enter a creative agency pitch scenario,” he continued. “It is important to highlight that this review does not include the Heineken brand or our relationship with our long standing and trusted partner Publicis.” Heineken expanded its relationship with Publicis in 2020, when it launched a bespoke model, called Le Pub, that integrates creative teams across Milan and Amsterdam with data and technology expertise from Epsilon and Sapient. Heineken is the second-largest global brewing company after AB InBev, with 12.2% market share, according to Statista.

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