CUB narrows creative roster following Carlton Dry pitch; The Monkeys and Clemenger BBDO to lead

Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) has narrowed its creative roster, expanding the remit for The Monkeys Melbourne, while ending its relationship with both Special Group and TBWA, Mumbrella can reveal.

The company which is home to some of Australia’s most popular beer brands including, Great Northern, Carlton Dry, Carlton Draught, Pure Blonde, Victoria Bitter, Melbourne Bitter, Crown Lager, and more, will now split the majority of its work between The Monkeys Melbourne and Clemenger BBDO Australia, its long-time partner.

The two agencies will not be the only ones engaged by the wider group, with Howatson+Company continuing to work on Matilda Bay, and 72andSunny on 4 Pines Brewing, after its appointment in 2022. 

“CUB continues to work with a variety of creative agencies. This includes The Monkeys and Clemenger BBDO among others,” a CUB spokesperson told Mumbrella.

Mumbrella understands that the wider reshuffle came after a pitch for the Carlton Dry brand in late-2022, won by Clemenger BBDO. The account was previously held by Special Group, which did not participate in the pitch. Special Group and TBWA\Melbourne will no longer be on CUB’s roster of agencies.

The rejig follows the appointment of former Mars marketer, Nicole McMillan as CUB’s general manager for marketing in May last year.

Clemenger and The Monkeys both declined to comment. Special Group also declined to comment when contacted by Mumbrella.

A TBWA\Melbourne spokesperson told Mumbrella: “During our five-year partnership, we delivered disruptive work that we are immensely proud of for numerous brands across the Asahi Premium Beverages and CUB portfolios, including most recently, Vodka Cruiser’s Solo Project and Woodstock’s Woody and Cola.”

CUB’s Nicole McMillan

Clemenger BBDO previously held the entire suite of brands in the CUB stable. Special Group was then added as Carlton Dry’s agency of record following a pitch in 2017, with TBWA also joining to work on Great Northern Brewing Co, and Woodstock Bourbon.

Asahi, a competitor to CUB, was one of the first accounts The Monkeys won in 2018, with former Clemenger BBDO Melbourne talent, Paul McMillan, Ant Keogh and Michael Derepas, moving across to launch the agency. 

Later, Asahi later acquired CUB in 2020. Asahi’s stable of brands includes Schweppes, Nikka Whisky, Somersby, Woodstock, Kingfisher, Mountain Goat and Vodka Cruiser.

While at Clemenger, Keogh, McMillan and Derepas worked closely with CUB, also previously at George Patterson Y&R, with Keogh responsible for Carlton Draught’s ‘Big Ad’. 

This also marks a major win for the newly merged national Clemenger BBDO agency, with new CEO Dani Bassil taking up her role last month.


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