Foster’s looking to stimulate VB sales

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 12th March 2009

Foster’s, Australia’s largest brewer, is looking to enhance marketing spend on the country’s most consumed beer in a bid to counter the impact of premium beers.

Fairfax newspapers today reported that a major advertising campaign will be launched in June but the Marketing Manager for Victoria Bitter, Paul Donaldson, said that there would be no “fundamental change” to the brand.

“There’s a whole lot of stuff happening before June. It’s not a relaunch or a fundamental change,” he reported. “(Foster’s has) looked at every part of the brand… We could have made 10 TV spots by now, but we want to do it right and at the right time.”

Mr Donaldson also told Fairfax that the partnership with RSL and Legacy Australia – which was announced yesterday – had taken more than a year to finalise. The fund-raising intitiative was something “no other beer brand could do,” Mr Donaldson suggested, although full details are yet to be released.

Foster’s CEO, Ian Johnston, was quite bullish about the brand last October when it briefly returned to positive revenue growth after a lacklustre few years, but told investors this year that the brand was still a concern for the company as sales declined again in the first half.

The company last year surprisingly gave the prestigious $15m VB account to advertising agency Droga5 after severing ties with George Patterson Y&R, with the Sydney-based agency’s first major ad work being for mid-strength line extension – VB Gold.