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US: Miller sceptical of "Here's to Beer" campaign

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Miller Brewing has said it has "very low expectations" that an industry-wide marketing campaign for beer in the US - set to be launched this Sunday - will succeed.

The first fruits of Anheuser-Busch's plans for an industry-wide campaign will be seen this weekend, with a TV ad during coverage of the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Anheuser-Busch has been working with the US Beer Institute to put together a generic campaign promoting beer, as the brewing industry fights flagging sales.

However, fierce rival Miller Brewing is sceptical that Anheuser-Busch's plans will arrest declining sales among domestic brewers.

"We are supportive of any efforts through the Beer Institute to enhance the overall image of beer. However, we have very low expectations of these efforts," a Miller Brewing spokesman told just-drinks today (3 February).

"We believe there is not a category problem here in the US - so, therefore, there cannot be a category solution. It's a brand problem."

The spokesman said that Miller had not backed the campaign financially and would focus on marketing efforts behind its own brand portfolio.

"We're happy to see Anheuser-Busch spend its money on an industry campaign - we want to spend our money on marketing our brands."

Anheuser-Busch has donated 30 seconds of its advertising time during the Super Bowl to promote the "Here's To Beer" campaign.

The ad, called "Slainte" - the Gaelic translation of "cheers" - will direct Super Bowl watchers to a new website developed to "celebrate beer's global popularity", Anheuser-Busch said. The site can be found at: http://www.herestobeer.com/

The ad, shot in four countries - Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic and Kenya - features local consumers raising a glass of beer to toast in their native languages.

Bob Lachky, Anheuser-Busch's executive vice-president for global industry development and the man behind the campaign, said beer was "the beverage of sociability and fun".

"Beer is about good times with good friends. It's a social beverage that's been a part of mankind's history for more than 10,000 years, and it doesn't carry the pretence of other alcohol drinks."

Lachky added: "It's the responsibility of the brewing industry to make sure beer remains relevant and appealing to our consumers, and that's the goal of the 'Here's To Beer' ad and Web site."


Sectors: Beer & cider

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