Friday, March 23, 2007

Maybe the buzziest isn't the best

Ad peeps already know this, but my beer peeps might not. The agency (Crispin, Porter & Bogusky) that has handled Miller Brewing's account for the past year or so, handling all of the Miller Lite and High Life work, quit. My summary is that basically the agency got sick of their creative being watered down by too many "approval processes" (and I am completely conjecturing here) and having all the teeth pulled out of a monster idea by a committee of brand people over at Miller. The problem is that while Man Laws were great fun, but didn't sell the beer. (Kind of a key issue in any advertising relationship.) The spots we've been seeing during the NCAA games, the ones that compare Miller Lite to the competitors, were actually made by Miller themselves. The High Life ads, with the gruff talking delivery truck driver revoking High Life privileges from places that charge $11.50 for a hamburger, are Crispin work, and unfortunately will die with this "F that account," announcement.

Ad people admire and want to be CP+B, for lots of reasons. They're creative, they're kooky, they get tons and tons of press, and they only have to exhale differently to set everyone to chattering about their model-breaking business. Today it is because most of us don't have the ability, the financial security, the chutzpah or the balls to tell a difficult client to shove off. (Assuming that Miller is actually a difficult client.) Ahh, to be an industry darling. Call it paranoia, but when someone is on top, the only long term direction I can see them heading in is down.

Full AdAge article here.