Labatt Breweries has parted ways with Ammirati Puris, part of its agency roster for the last eight years, prompting a review.

The breakdown in the relationship between the two coincided with a string of senior management changes at the agency since July. Several weeks ago, Labatt reportedly issued Ammirati Puris with an ultimatum that it wanted better value for its ad money.

“Circumstances have changed dramatically,” commented the brewery’s vp–marketing Charles Oliver. “We’ve been assessing our relationship for some time. We feel this is the right time to pursue a different direction. We plan to use this change as the catalyst for us to build what we believe will be a significantly better client/agency model.”

Not content with just finding a replacement agency, Labatt wants a totally new approach to advertising and is said to be keen to promote creative ideas. “We will be discussing our vision with other major advertisers to create a model which we believe will address flaws in the current industry,” added Oliver. It is uncertain whether the brewery wants a dedicated shop.

Affected by the review are English language ad duties for Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light in North America, plus Carlsberg, John Labatt Classic, Stella Artois and Guinness Extra Stout in Canada. Billings have not been disclosed.

Time appears to be on Labatt’s side, as strategy and creative for 2002 are already in place. A decision is expected early next year.

News source: AdAge Global