Brewers Lay Increased Ad Costs on Brit Beer Drinkers

20 January 2003

One of the traditional arguments in defending advertising from its critics – that it boosts a brand’s sales volume thereby reducing its cost to consumers – has been turned on its head by the UK unit of US beer behemoth Coors Brewing Company.

Denver-headquartered Coors, which now owns major UK brands Carling, Worthington and Grolsh is reportedly set to increase its barrel prices by 4.7% (which equates to around 10 pence per pint) in order to fund increased expenditure on advertising. The Coors and Coors Lite brands are also likely to undergo a similar hike, with the brewer citing as its determinant a “significantly increased marketing budget” .

Coors is not alone. UK independent brewer Wolverhampton and Dudley (main brands Mansfield and Marstons) is about to hand the same treatment to beer-drinkers, allegedly for the same reason. Observers believe it is only a matter of time before other British beer giants such as Carlsberg-Tetley and Scottish Courage follow suit.

In the year to April 2002, beers figured among the UK’s fastest growing (and highest-spending) brands with Fosters in number two growth slot, according to Marketing magazine. Hard on its heels were Carling (+25.9%), Budweiser (+20.5%) and Stella Artois (+ 18.3%).

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff