Campaign Asia-Pacific has confirmed with a source close to the client that the results were finalised two weeks ago. AB InBev China called the pitch back in December, and the selection process continued until after Chinese New Year. Participants included VML IM2.0, Isobar, AKQA, Digitas LBi and Uncle.
Pitch consultant R3, which monitored the proceedings, said the client spends about US$50 million in China.
The client has started meetings with its new agency partners. Budweiser is one of the firm’s largest international beer brands, while Harbin Beer is its national brand in China. The company also owns Sedrin, which is a local brand in Fujian and Jiangxi provinces.
China’s top five beer brands are Snow, Tsingtao, Budweiser, Yanjing and Carlsberg, which claim 72 per cent of sector sales in China, according to a China Daily article from October 2013, which quoted the China Alcoholic Drinks Association. Also from October, an IBISWorld Industry Report forecasts the country’s beer production to reach 54 million tons for 2014. All of it to be consumed, presumably.