Iris splits with Heineken in Singapore: ‘Localising global work is not our strength’

Iris' activation for Heineken at Zoukout 2015

Iris’ activation for Heineken at Zoukout 2015

Iris and key client Heineken have gone their separate ways after seven years of working together in Singapore, with the agency citing frustration with having to adapt global ideas for the local market rather than working on original client briefs.

“Over the last few years, the direction has changed to a more global approach. We’ve had a lot of discussions with Heineken, and we’ve decided not to renew our contract for 2016,” Iris Singapore boss Craig Mapleston told Mumbrella this morning.

“We’ve had many great opportunities [in the past working with Heineken], but those opportunities are not really there right now,” he said.

“We know that as an agency we do our best when we’re originating work. We don’t necessarily see it as our strength to be taking global work and localising it,” Mapleston said.

He added that there are “no hard feelings” and the agency had enjoyed working with Heineken and had created some great work over the years.

Mapleston said that no redundancies would be made as a result of the client’s departure, and Heineken account people would be reassigned to other clients.

Venus Teoh, head of marketing at Asia Pacific Breweries (Singapore), which is owned by Heineken, said in a statement later shared with Mumbrella: “After seven years of partnership with iris on Heineken in Singapore, the brand is ready to move on. We’re excited to bring fresh and creative campaigns synonymous with the Heineken brand to the market in the months ahead. We thank iris for their work over the past seven years.”

Work that Iris has created for Heineken in Singapore since 2009 includes 11 brand campaigns, six product innovation launches, seven ZoukOuts and 10 Heineken Green Rooms.

Iris works with Heineken developing global work out of the Amsterdam office, and that relationship is not affected by the move.

Heineken had not responded to Mumbrella’s request for comment at the time of publishing.


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