The end of another era. Goodby and Budweiser split.

Just read that Anheuser-Busch has dropped agency Goodby Silverstein. In 1994, when i first started working on the Budweiser brands, Goodby Silverstein were added to the roster of Anheuser-Busch ad agencies. A-B kind of pioneered the idea of using multiple agencies on a brand. Which made sense. The stakes were huge. Too huge to be at the mercy of whoever controls the creative work at one agency. Because that’s the reality of the ad game. No matter how big the agency is, there is ultimately one person approving the work that you, the client, sees. And what if they suck? Problem!

I recall initially feeling slightly panicked at the news that I now had to compete with Goodby. But after a while we got the sense at what they were good at and what we were good at. As did the client. So the Goodby relationship endured. They were the west coast perspective. Which is good to have if you’re as a big a brand as Bud.

So it worked out good. They even made a nice contribution to my Wassup! campaign. Ironically, a year after one of their crew had anonymously bad-mouthed the campaign in New York magazine. It constantly amazed me that advertising people thought I had somehow “cheated” by adapting a short film into an ad.

So it kind of felt good to have an agency as auspicious as Goodby forced to adopt an “if you can’t beat em, join em” mentality. This was their idea. An idea that we (charles stone and i) had thought of but rejected months before as being unnecessarily racially divisive. Funny thing was, everyone thought i did it anyway.

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