NEW YORK: Latest figures from TNS Media Intelligence suggest that US brewing giants are deserting traditional media in favor of sponsorship and sales promos.

The TNS data indicate that the biggest brewers slashed measured media spend by 24%, around $131 million (€92.8m; £64.6m), during the first half of 2007. And that follows a 12% cut last year!

Explains vp-marketing services at Miller Brewing Jackie Woodward: "We're not walking away from traditional media by any means, but we're using it more intelligently. Some of those new uses are not things that TNS is going to measure."

Miller's new approach includes a spoof ad embedded in popular late night television show and a High Life-themed 'olympics' of bar games in Chicago, in cooperation with local newspapers.

TNS says steep declines in measured media spend are not uncommon among marketers such as brewers who are targeting younger consumers.

Says TNS research svp Jon Swallen: "It's a broad generalization, but the advertisers and the categories that experience the largest declines are generally [those] whose customers skew younger.

"Any smart marketer is going to identify where their customers are and try to reach them there."

And the tactic must be working according to industry information provider Beer Marketer's Insights, which says brewer shipments rose 2% during the period when measured spend fell.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff