By Ian Neubauer

The Foster’s Group rattled the Australian advertising industry this week by appointing a Sydney offshoot of a New York-based advertising agency to handle its lucrative VB account.

Droga5, which opened its doors in Sydney late last month, beat established agencies Clemenger BBDO, DDB and Wybin TBWA to land the $35 million account. The VB account was previously held by George Patterson Y&R, who were dumped by the brewer late last year after a forty-year relationship between the two firms.

Foster’s forwent the usual pitching process in which a number of agencies are invited to submit creative solutions to client briefs. Rather, the decision was based on a credential pitch that Foster’s said was a more realistic demonstration of an agency’s competencies.

“We wanted to focus on the offer we would get rather than get sidetracked by a creative sideshow,” Foster’s marketing director, Anthony Heraghty, told The Sydney Morning Herald. “You are asking an organisation to understand your business in two weeks and come up with the definitive answer on which they will be successful or not. It’s just not realistic,” he said.

Droga5 is an independent agency founded by Australian national David Droga. The agency made waves in the US last year when it took out the highly coveted Creativity Magazine Agency of the Year title after less than two years in business. Droga5 is 85 per cent Australian owned.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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