Coors restructures

Colorado-based brewer Adolph Coors has executed a bold restructuring of its marketing department as part of a wider cost-cutting program.On July 12, the brewer, based in Boulder, said it will cut its white-collar work force by 500 employees, or 20%, through...

Colorado-based brewer Adolph Coors has executed a bold restructuring of its marketing department as part of a wider cost-cutting program.

On July 12, the brewer, based in Boulder, said it will cut its white-collar work force by 500 employees, or 20%, through early retirement, incentive packages and attrition.

At the same time, Coors has lopped off a broad chunk of its in-house marketing activities and farmed it out to a newly formed promotions agency, Frontrange Communications.

John Fellows, a spokesperson with Coors corporate communications department, says Frontrange will be responsible for a variety of marketing activities including: merchandising, consumer promotions, creative services (historically, Coors has created posters, point-of-purchase materials and the like in-house), field media services, trademark licensing and trademark sales (primarily at its huge brewing facility in Boulder.)

Fellows says the Coors marketing department will continue to handle the company’s brand management activities.

Frontrange, which has yet to set up an office but is looking for space in the Denver area, is an independent subsidiary of a 19-year-old Dallas promotions agency, Case/Dunlap.

About 100 former Coors workers will be offered employment at Frontrange.

Ron Askew, chief executive officer of Frontrange, says the agency will initially work only on Coors business, but will eventually seek other accounts.

Ted Case, a principal with Case/ Dunlop, says the arrangement, which becomes effective Sept. 1, involves a performance-based compensation plan, the details of which he will not discuss.

Case says Coors agreed to award Frontrange the account after he demonstrated that Case/Dunlop could use its buying clout to save money for the brewer.

Coors uses several agencies to handle its brand advertising. Coors Light, the fourth-largest selling beer brand in the u.s., is handled by Foot Cone Belding.

Case says that as far as he is aware no other major u.s. consumer goods company has farmed out such a large portion of its marketing needs to an independent agency.

‘I think Coors, Case/Dunlap and Frontrange are on the cutting edge of thinking outside the dots in how to come up with a win-win situation for the employees and the company,’ Case says.

The news was announced by Coors President Leo Kiely, who was hired away from Frito Lay in January and charged with improving Coors’ profitability.