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SBD/15/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing
ANHEUSER-BUSCH ENDS RELATIONSHIP WITH AD AGENCY
Published November 15, 1994
Anheuser-Busch Inc. has ended its 79-year relationship with D'Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, the ad agency that made Budweiser "one of the most recognizable product names in the country." A-B announced that it was turning all of its advertising for Budweiser over to DDB Needham, which already handles the creative work for Bud Light and Budweiser's Ice Draft. It has been estimated that A-B spent $104M advertising Budweiser last year. The staff at D'Arcy's office in St. Louis "was stunned by the news. ... There had been no public sign of dissatisfaction with the agency." Execs "refused" to say why A-B dropped D'Arcy, but industry analysts "said two factors probably were at work." Budweiser is in its 6th year of moderate declines and A-B was already using other ad agencies, so cost efficiency may have played a part (Robert Mano, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/15). Other clients D'Arcy has recently signed: Blockbuster Entertainment, cereal maker Ramcorp., TWA and Enterprise Rent-A- Car (AP, 11/15). A-B's move is one of the "largest domestic ad account changes in Madison Avenue history" (USA TODAY, 11/15). Besides A-B leaving, Amoco put its $30M account with D'Arcy in review last month after 40 years with the agency (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/15).