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SABMiller appoints The Bank as lead agency for Nastro Azzurro in the UK and globally

25 November 2004

SABMiller today announced the appointment of The Bank as the lead creative agency for its Italian premium beer, Nastro Azzurro.  The appointment was made following a review of the communications strategy in the UK and abroad.

Chris Taylor, international brands director for SABMiller said:  "Since the acquisition of Birra Peroni by SABMiller in 2003 we have been focussing on establishing the positioning of both Peroni and Nasto Azzurro domestically in Italy and developing new communications campaigns. This has been achieved with good initial success.

“Nastro Azzurro from Peroni has great potential around the world as a genuine Italian provenance beer. In the UK the brand has shown very good growth but we felt it was time to re-assess the overall communication strategy and also to establish an international basis for the brand.  To this end we have decided to appoint The Bank as lead creative agency worldwide."

Charlie Hiscocks, brand communications director SABMiller said:  "One of the consequences of this international appointment is the end of the tenure of Burkitts DDB as the UK Nastro Azzuro agency. We are very grateful to the team at Burkitts for their work in getting the brand established and we wish them well in the future."

Ian Cassie, founder and  managing director for The Bank said, “Our many years of experience helping Orange roll the brand out world wide and the arrival of Will Harris at The Bank as CEO, makes us confident we can assist SABMiller in developing Nastro Azurro across the globe.  What is most important though, is that we will be working with one of the world’s truly great beers. I love it!”


Notes to editors

SABMiller plc

SABMiller plc is one of the world’s largest brewers, with 2003/04 lager sales volumes in excess of 137 million hectolitres.  It has a brewing presence in over 40 countries across four continents and a portfolio of strong brands and leading market shares in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations.  Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.

In the year ended 31 March 2004, the group generated US$1,391million pre-tax profit from a turnover of US$12,645 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

SABMiller acquired a majority interest in Birra Peroni, Italy’s second largest brewer in May 2003.  Birra Peroni’s portfolio includes Peroni, Italy’s oldest beer brand and its number one beer. Nastro Azzurro is among the top three premium brands in the country and is available in a number of international markets, including the United Kingdom. 

Chris Taylor - biographical note

Chris joined SABMiller in 2001 as European marketing director, based in Budapest, Hungary.  He assumed the role of international brands director, Peroni and Nastro Azzurro from 1 October 2004. Prior to joining SABMiller Chris held marketing positions in Guinness, Mars confectionery, Warner Lambert and Revlon International.

The Bank

The Bank is a creative agency that develops ideas designed to help their clients communicate and build their brands with their customers, staff and  their trade and business-to-business partners.

Based in London and with offices in New York, Dubai and Cape Town, The Bank is the trading style for The Communication Channel PLC and was formed in 1992. It is both an agency and production house with in-house capabilities and facilities to execute the agency’s ideas in all media.

The Bank was included in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 company survey as one of the fastest growing companies in the UK, and was the only creative agency to be listed in the report.

The Bank worked extensively with Orange during the 90’s helping build their brand up until, and after, their acquisition by France Telecom.  Recently the company created the visual style for the worldwide communications for of HSBC Corporate Investment Banking and Markets.  Working with Shell and The British Legion, The Bank was also responsible for this month’s Remembrance Day tribute, with projections onto the Shell building and with two DC 10 planes dropping 3 million poppy petals onto the Thames. 

Current clients include: 3, Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s, HSBC, Shell, Parcelforce, Sibir S7, EDS, Coutts, and Clinique.

Ciaran Baker
Head of corporate communications
SABMiller plc
Tel: +44 20 7659 0120

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