Advertising Age reported Anheuser-Busch InBev cut its ties with Steve Stoute and Jay-Z of Translation, ultimately handing the shop’s duties to White advertising agencies BBDO and Anomaly. Translation is clearly going though tough times, with leadership shifts and account losses. It doesn’t help that the place has never produced consistently decent work. Having access to celebrity talent—even with an industry that loves hip hop—doesn’t equate to professional, sustainable success. Otherwise, Will.i.am would be the next Bill Bernbach.
A-B InBev Ends Relationship With Translation
The Shop Was Lead Agency for ‘Made in America’
By E.J. Schultz
Anheuser-Busch InBev has cut its final ties with Translation, which has served as the lead ad agency for Budweiser’s much-hyped Made in America summer music festival curated by Jay Z.
The shop first won its way on to the brewer’s roster in 2011 and was named lead agency for Bud Light in 2012. BBDO won the Bud Light account in 2013. Translation managed to hang onto Bud Light line extensions like Platinum until earlier this year, until BBDO took that business too.
That left Translation with only the Made in America business. The shop, founded by former music exec Steve Stoute, played a key role in the 2012 launch of the Made in America event, which has served as a key plank in the brewer’s millennial marketing strategy. The concert originally was staged in Philadelphia and was expanded to Los Angeles this year.
Anomaly, which is the lead shop for Budweiser, will assume Made in America duties, according to an A-B InBev spokeswoman. Asked about what the move means for the brewer’s partnership with Jay Z, she said: “We have an ongoing, global relationship with Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter. It will continue.”
She described the consolidation with Anomaly as a “synergy” move that was not tied to Translation’s performance. Mr. Stoute did not immediately reply to an email for comment. The brewer has yet to announce plans for the 2015 music festival. Other organizations that have been involved with the festival include Jay Z’s entertainment company, Roc Nation, and Live Nation.