- Omnicom's Red Urban has been named the agency of record (AOR) for Heineken USA's digital and social media marketing, according to a report in MediaPost.
- The agency, which was founded in Amsterdam, where Heineken is also headquartered, will handle digital advertising and marketing duties for Heineken, Heineken Light, Dos Equis, Tecate and Strongbow brands. Red Urban is also opening a dedicated New York City office to service the account.
- Heineken USA's digital and social media ad business were previously spread among a number of agencies including We Are Social, Havas, Publicis, 360i and Nomades.
The move consolidates Heineken's digital channels under one agency and Jonathan Nelson, CEO of Omnicom Digital, told MediaPost that Heineken would be able to "leverage Omnicom digital and social capabilities" beyond Red Urban. Omnicom is one of the four largest agency holding groups in the world and has recently won the business of other major brand marketers including McDonald's and its nearly $1 billion account.
One of the current trends in client-agency relationships is a reduction in the number of shops brands work with. The shift comes on the heels of a time when brands sought out specialty boutique agencies for specific channels, audiences and even campaigns, and also as competition from non-traditional players like global consultancies heats up.
Procter & Gamble's Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard, who's spoken broadly on the tensions between marketers and their agency partners, recently bemoaned the disappearance of one-stop agency shops and the proliferation of specialists that don't always successfully communicate with one another.
"Bottom line: We need you to get simpler," Pritchard said of agencies at the 4A’s Transformation conference earlier this month.
Sources reported on by MediaPost suggest that transition plans are in place for the agencies that previously handled Heineken USA's digital and social media to complete those contracts. In June and July 2015, Heineken parted ways with Wieden + Kennedy as its lead creative agency and announced Publicis Worldwide as its global advertising agency.